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All of the costs associated with running a new car can quickly mount up, such as insuring it, taxing it, keeping it maintained and filling up the tank, so it’s important to make sure you have a good idea of what these costs will amount to on a monthly basis, before you sign on the dotted line.
Once you’ve bought your new car, how can you keep track of all your costs? Follow Trusted Dealers’ guide below to help you act sensibly and stay out of debt.
There are lots of ways to pay for a new car, but it pays to look into the best option to suit your current lifestyle to ensure you avoid being out of pocket. If you can afford to buy a new car outright without relying on a loan, make sure you negotiate the best deal you can to save as much money as possible at resale. Most dealers will be willing to negotiate a discount off the asking price or throw in some extra equipment, so it’s well worth an ask. If you don’t have enough cash to pay for your new car outright, choosing a finance package from your dealer is also a good option. There are a variety of different finance packages to suit different circumstances so make sure you talk through the options with your dealer to find the right one.
If you are aged between 17 and 25 years old and this is your first car, insuring your vehicle may prove to be very expensive. If you are older, but it is your first car, you may also face higher insurance premiums due to your lack of experience on the road. Insurers will take into account factors such as your age, postcode, the mileage you intend to drive per year and the type of car you have chosen in order to calculate your car insurance, so make sure all of the information you give them is 100 per cent accurate. One of the newer options for bringing down the cost of insurance is to invest in black box insurance, whereby a black box is fitted into your car to keep track of your driving. Providing you stick to speed limits and any further restrictions put in place by the insurer, you can significantly reduce your yearly premiums.
Depending on the age of your car, the amount of road tax you pay is either down to the emissions or the engine size of the vehicle. Choosing a car with low emissions will mean the road tax is a lot cheaper, so it’s best to avoid cars with larger engines such as SUVs and 4x4s if you don’t need them. You can pay for road tax either for 6 or 12 months, but it works out cheaper to pay the full 12 months upfront if you can afford it. To gain a clearer idea of what you’ll need to pay in road tax for specific cars, use the government’s road tax calculator.
Once you’ve bought the car of your dreams, keeping your fuel costs low is the next challenge and will depend on a number of factors. Choosing a new car that already demonstrates good fuel consumption figures is a good start, but as a general rule, the bigger the car’s engine, the more fuel it will use. Avoid cluttering up your car with heavy items to help keep fuel costs low as larger items will simply increase the car’s fuel consumption. Shopping around for your fuel is also a useful exercise, whether it’s a petrol or diesel model, supermarkets often tend to have the most competitive prices. You can use comparison websites such as www.petrolprices.com to find out the cheapest petrol in your local area.
The RAC has said it costs an average of £472 to maintain a used car over a year. This includes servicing and the cost of an MOT. Some firms sell warranties for cars which can pay out if it breaks down and needs repairs, and some even cover the cost of an MOT as part of the premium. Always check what is included if you are purchasing a car with a warranty, and it is also well worth paying out for breakdown cover on your vehicle. You can usually purchase this at the same time as your car insurance policy for a small additional fee.