Is your car costing more than it should?

Is your car costing more than it should?

Cars are costly. It’s an annoying truth, but it is unavoidable for most of us. For many South Africans, car ownership is a necessity, allowing us to get from A to B more safely without the need for public transport. But this convenience comes at a cost, from the expense of buying an automobile, to the cost of maintaining your vehicle and the fluctuating price of petrol, staying on four wheels can seriously eat into our monthly budgets.

A recent report by Bloomberg Petol Price Rankings revealed that South Africans pay more of their monthly paycheck towards petrol than citizens in any other nation on earth. Using an average of 216.7 litres of petrol every year, South Africans spend 3.71% of their salary on staying fuelled up. This high level of expenditure is very steep, especially when you consider that South Africa is home to the 16thcheapest petrol prices in the world. Ultimately, it’s the disparity become average income and petrol price – plus the higher than average distance travelled – which make the nation the most significant petrol splurgers.

Away from the petrol pumps, the price of cars themselves is also on the rise. In 2016, WesBank noted that the average new car price had risen to R291,000, a leap of 11%, year-on-year, while used cars reached R188,000, rising by 10% year-on-year.

Whatever angle you examine, car ownership and usage seriously adds up, negatively affecting already tight household budgets across the country. Yet there are some steps you can take to reduce the financial impact of driving. Wonga.co.za’s “40 Massive Money Saving Tips” includes an entire section of car money saving tips, which could make your motor more affordable. Here are a few places to start…

  1. Care for your car
    Looking after your car is one of the best ways to reduce how much it costs you over the long term. From ensuring you’re driving sensibly with no harsh braking or speeding, to ensuring your tire pressure is spot on, lots of sensible car care steps will reduce how much petrol you use and how much you’ll need to spend on repairs or new vehicles in future. Regular maintenance and repairing issues as they arise (before they can worsen) will also  ultimately save you money.
  1. Become a one car household
    From being a little more organised about drop offs and pick ups, to walking shorter distances, if you can make having one car work for your family, you’ll be amazed by just how much money you can save. Why not arrange ride sharing systems with your friends and colleagues to make the transition even easier to achieve?
  1. Fit a tracker
    Car insurance can be very costly indeed. If you’d like to reduce your rate, consider fitting your car with a tracking device which will help your insurance provider learn more about your driving habits and hopefully apply a lower premium, if you are deemed to be a safer driver. Do some research t find out whether this option could be worthwhile for you.

How much do you spend on your vehicle each month? Do you have any money saving  tips for car owners? Tell us all about it below.

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