Want To Save Cash On Your Next Car? Motoring Experts Reveal Five Simple Money-Saving Tips
– Weigh up the potential repair costs of your car before you buy
– Watch out for excessive mileage as these motors are more expensive to run
– Bright and bold cars might look nice, but they could lead to significant losses come resale
Where January is usually the month for tightening belts, interest in ‘new cars’ remains at its strongest during the first month of the year, with searches for ‘used cars’ also increasing by 49%, compared to last year.
And while the data suggests that people are eyeing up their next car, many do not know how to find the best bargain. Recent research found that 46% of new drivers don’t know what they’re looking for when buying a car, from specifications to getting the right price.
If you’re not sure how to get the best deal on the search for your next car, motoring experts at Bristol Street Motors have provided their five top tips to help you save money.
1. Don’t let insurance premiums and repairs catch you out
The cost of buying a car is not just about meeting the asking price. You also need to sort out insurance for your motor, which can rise to eyewatering annual amounts.
Models which have an economical engine (for instance 1.2 or 1.4 litres) usually end up being significantly cheaper to insure than performance models (as well as cheaper to run).
Certain brands can only be repaired at specialist shops, as well, so take that into account before purchasing. A fancy car might look nice, but it could cost you handsomely come your first dink!
2. Motors with excessive mileage are less fuel-efficient
Any time you buy a car, you should always consider resale value. If you find a model that will sell well on the used car market, for instance, that is a better money-saving investment than a model which typically struggles to drum up buyers.
Along with make and model, check the mileage if you’re trying to save money in the long-term. Mileage is more than a number – it’s an indicator of a car’s condition. If a motor has a high mileage, for example, it’s more likely to experience those wear and tear issues that require a visit to the garage.
A car with 100,000 miles on the meter might be cheaper in the car showroom, but it’s going to cost you a lot in terms of repairs and running costs (cars with excessive mileage are typically less fuel-efficient). It will also be tougher to sell on the used car market once you’ve clocked up your own additional mileage.
3. Bright and bold cars lose value faster than other colours
While it may seem like a trivial choice, picking the perfect paint job for your car has an impact on resale value and general maintenance.
Lime greens, burnt oranges, and sunshine yellows might speak to your personal tastes, but they are notoriously difficult to sell on the used car market. That’s because, as a more niche choice, it’s tricky to find willing buyers, forcing you to lower the asking price or wait longer for a suitable offer.
Lighter colours, such as white or grey, can also impact upkeep, with mud and dirt appearing more clearly on these softer shades. To avoid fishing out your reliable bucket and sponge on a more regular basis, opt for darker colours that look their best for longer.
4. Buy the car that best suits your day-to-day – and bin off the extra features
To save as much money as possible on your purchase, you need to think specifically about how you’re actually going to be using the car, rather than how you might use it.
For example, if you need a used car for commuting into a city centre office, you might be better off with a nippy three-door that costs £5k rather than a 4×4 on the market for £10k. After all, you don’t want to be paying extra for all that empty space every time you fill up on fuel!
On the other hand, if you’re doing the school run every day, then it makes sense to pay more for the space that a people carrier will afford. It’s about focusing on the essential travel requirements of the car, instead of being distracted by the potentially expensive features that drive up the asking price.
5. Diesel cars are a more economical choice for regular motorway drivers
When comparing costs between all the different cars for sale, don’t forget about fuel. Not only is it the biggest outlay you’ll spend on your car, but these costs differ wildly from model to model.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to guess your weekly fuel bill for each car – just look up the motor’s miles per gallon (mpg). The higher the mpg, the further you can drive on a full tank of fuel, resulting in fewer visits to the petrol station.
Typically, diesel cars offer a better fuel economy, although petrol prices per litre are cheaper than diesel. This comes back to the point about prioritising the essentials. If you’re only completing short journeys, then opt for a petrol engine, whereas diesel models are more cost effective for regular long haul drives.
Of course, you can forgo fuel altogether and buy an electric car. The upfront costs might be higher than petrol and diesel models, but they are generally cheaper to run based on fuel and maintenance costs.