Driving may not have seemed all that important during your college years, especially if you lived on campus. However, as you begin to climb the career ladder and commuting becomes an integral part of your day, it's important that you are able to drive when necessary as this can save you both time and money. Driving will also make it easier for you to go about your day-to-day activities and even open the door to exciting travel opportunities such as road trips.
Nevertheless, driving can be costly, which is often why those with financial problems steer away from owning or using their own vehicle. However, there are plenty of ways in which you can save money and still get behind the wheel.
- Ensure that you are able to get the best deal when buying your first car by doing plenty of research ahead of time. You should also ensure that you purchase a car from a reputable dealer, such as edmunds, who will be able to provide you with a car for a fair and reasonable price. In some cases, it may be cheaper to purchase a second-hand vehicle.
- Understand your driving budget ahead of time so that you don't go overboard when purchasing a vehicle. Remember, in addition to the cost of the car itself; you'll also have to pay for things such as fuel, maintenance, and parking. Typically, it is advised that you cap auto payments and related expenses at 10%–15% of your monthly income.
- If possible, look into purchasing eco-friendly vehicles, such as electric cars. While they may initially come with an additional cost, they are much cheaper to run long-term and are also a great way to start taking better care of the planet.
- Take care when filling out your applications for car insurance, as minor errors or inaccuracies could affect your insurance policy, meaning that you are spending much more money than you need to. Additionally, you should also ensure that you are getting the best deal possible by using a price comparison site to find the best provider.
- If you have yet to learn to drive, then this will likely be the biggest cost you face in the coming months. However, there are some ways to cut down on these expenses. For example, you could cut down on your overall spending by booking lessons in bulk instead of one lesson at a time – as most providers offer some kind of discount when these bookings are made. Alternatively, as opposed to going through a particular company, you could approach instructors directly to see if they can offer you a better deal.
- While you shouldn't try to tackle any complex repairs on your own, learning how to carry out some basic car maintenance tasks is a great way to save money as it means you won't require the support of a mechanic to ensure your car remains in good working order. As a result, you'll also be able to significantly increase the lifespan of your car, which again will save you money.