There’s no getting round the fact that cars are not cheap to own. Whether you’ve forked out a lot of cash upfront, or seem to be paying for constant repairs, a car is something that can cause a lot of stress and can be difficult to keep on top of, especially for those that are not experts with cars (i.e most of us!). Here are some hacks for how to potentially save money at different stages of car ownership that might just prevent you from shelling out quite as much money.
If you’re buying a brand new car, be aware that it’s likely to decrease in value quite rapidly after purchase, however you do often benefit from generous warranty schemes as a result of buying a brand new vehicle along with peace of mind that the car is in top condition.
If you’re able to buy a car that’s only a year or two old, you might find that it much more affordable than buying brand new, as it can no longer claim being brand new, but will only have had the very minimal use.
If you’re buying second hand, always make sure you have a test drive – this should identify any obvious problems and any expenses that will come with it. If you’re buying from a dealership, try and negotiate a warranty period if they do not already have one in place.
Once you know the number plate, use an app like Vehicle Smart where you can look at the car’s MOT history and mileage data to get an idea of what condition the vehicle might currently be in and compare this to any details you have about the vehicle already to determine if there are any discrepancies.
Once you’ve bought the vehicle, you might struggle to get it home. If you are the policyholder with fully comprehensive insurance on another vehicle, then you are normally insured to drive another vehicle (check your policy to be sure), but if not, you may need to arrange delivery of the vehicle, particularly if you’re buying it from somewhere far away. An easy way to find a courier to transport your vehicle is to use Shiply.com, a reverse auction website where you list the details of the delivery and companies will send you quotes for you to choose from. Shiply can save you up to 75% off compared to usual delivery rates.
The annual MOT and tax renewal can be a dreaded time for car owners. Finding an MOT test centre can be a bit of a nightmare and deciphering whether a minor fault is worth fixing there and then is a difficult call to make if your knowledge of cars is limited.
One tip for finding an MOT centre is to use council-run centres for the testing. They normally cost a little more for the test, but as they do not undertake any repairs themselves, they have no incentive to recommend costly repairs if they are not necessary. Once you’ve got the MOT results you can look elsewhere for any needed repairs after comparing prices online (if needed).
When selling your car, you need to weigh up what would be the most effective and way to sell the car for your situation. If it’s an old car on its last legs you might find that selling the car separately for parts would mean you come away with more cash, but of course, that’ll require holding onto it for a while whilst separate parts individually and potentially having taking the car apart yourself.
If you’re looking to get the car out of your hands without any hassle, you might prefer to sell the car to a site like webuyanycar.com where you can drop off the car and that’s it.
There are several scrappage schemes available for trading in older models as part payment for a new one, and the current move towards banning new petrol/diesel cars from being manufactured in the near future should mean that more scrappage schemes become available for older cars. Keep your eyes peeled!