Tips on how to curb car expenses in tough times
Here's some good advice on how to cut car ownership related costs during tough times
There are many factors which can cause financial stress in our lives. It could be a global economic recession, a downturn in our country’s economy or an unexpected situation that may affect you only. Although it is not an ideal situation, succeeding financially through a tough economic situation may mean cutting back or cutting out certain expenses altogether to stay afloat.
Here's some good advice on how to cut car ownership related costs during tough times:
Car finance – with the repo rate cuts since March, the current prime lending rate is at a record low at the moment. This means that you should already be seeing a reduction on your monthly car repayment amount. If you are still struggling with the repayments – contact your financial institution to explore options available to you. These could include a “payment holiday” or refinancing the vehicle. Both options would reduce your current spend. It unfortunately means you will pay more for the vehicle in the long run but will assist greatly during these times.
Car insurance – several insurers have offered some relief by reducing vehicle insurance premiums for a period of three months. If your insurer has not offered this to you yet, make sure to contact them to ask what they can offer. You could also take some time to shop around for more affordable insurance but be sure to compare the benefits before signing on the dotted line.
Fuel– for most - fuel spend has reduced drastically during April, with limited travelling as well as the reduced petrol price. However, our travel mileage and the fuel price are both numbers that can and do fluctuate. Our best action to reduce fuel spend is to do what you can to manage consumption. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking are the quickest ways to waste fuel… Stay calm, drive sensibly and save fuel!
Maintenance – make sure that you do the necessary checks on your vehicle like checking water, oil, brake fluids and tyre pressure. Make sure you eliminate unnecessary repair costs for something that could have been avoided by routine maintenance checks. Handle any easy repairs yourself, like replacing wiper blades, checking your tyre threads . If you are not sure how to do this… watch a YouTube video and learn a new skill.
Remember that if you have arranged debt relief options on your vehicle finance and are enjoying the discount from your insurance company and the relief of lower fuel costs – these amounts will need to be adjusted in your budget after the relief period is over.