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Stay in control of your car finances

Image courtesy of Images of Money

The soaring cost of insurance and petrol are just two of the multitude of expenses that car owners have to contend with. Add in road tax, MOT and servicing, any other running repairs and the possibility of loan repayment schemes and it paints a miserable picture for UK motorists of all ages.  While logging on to a price comparison website such as moneysupermarket.com can dramatically reduce the price of insurance, what else can car owners do to keep on top of car finances?

Ensure you get insured for less

Driving down the cost of car insurance seems a logical place to start, especially when you could be hundreds of pounds better off every year simply by doing it online and changing insurers every 12 months. Don’t fall into the trap of automatically renewing with the same company as the chances are high that you’ll overpay by a considerable amount. Customer loyalty doesn’t appear to come into the reckoning when it comes to renewal time so you need to be really proactive. There are plenty of useful online resources available where you can receive a plethora of quotes within a few seconds and a clear and concise breakdown of what you actually get for your money.

Set and stick to a budget

If you’ve taken out a loan to finance buying your car in the first place then it’s vital you make repayments in full and on time or you risk having it repossessed, racking up debt and ruining your credit rating. Make sure you’re fully aware of how much you need to pay by a certain date and budget accordingly. It almost goes without saying that you should be realistic about what you can actually afford in terms of the make and model of the car in the first place. Don’t stretch your finances to the limit simply because you fancy swanning around in a top-of-the-range motor and instead let your head rule your heart.

Downsize if you need to

A quick and easy way to slash the price of being a car owner if money is proving particularly tight is to downsize immediately to a cheaper make and a smaller model. It’ll cost less to run and less to insure and free up funds for you to spend on something else. The pressure is on for many individuals and families to stay mobile without breaking the bank and it’s important to stay out of the red, even if that means trading your pride and joy in for an older model.

Is it time for a rethink?

It’s common for households in the UK to have more than one car and while it has obvious benefits in terms of convenience, it also doubles or possibly triples the price of petrol, insurance, tax and garage bills. Can you get by with just the one car? It might not seem immediately obvious that you can, but it may be possible with a bit of effort and lateral thinking. Maybe your commute to work would work out cheaper on public transport than it currently costs by car? There are plenty of questions to ponder on this front.

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