Your car could be the first major financial asset that you will own and manage.
As with any asset, the key to maximising its performance, longevity and saleability is ensuring that you take care of it and keep it in the best condition possible. One way is to familiarise yourself with some handy tips that could save you money and help preserve your asset.
With July as National Savings Month drawing to a close, the focus has been on key aspects around saving and financial planning. As such, it is a good time to examine the household budget and see where savings can be made, including on your vehicle, recommends leading vehicle and asset solutions provider WesBank. Getting car insurance, a tracking device and other value-added products are great for ensuring that you maintain the value of your car.
However, on a day-to-day basis, here are a few tips that WesBank suggests you follow to assist you with managing and minimising your monthly expenditure, which could also lead to better savings.
- While driving, use a navigation system or app with real-time traffic monitoring to avoid traffic congestion, which wastes fuel.
- Weigh up the route options. Though it might be quicker on the highway, remember to take into account toll charges, where applicable. For intra-city travel, it could be more affordable to avoid tolled highways whereas, for inter-city journeys, tolls might be cheaper than the cost of extra fuel on back roads.
- Clear out any unnecessary clutter in your car that could weigh it down, resulting in unnecessary and excess fuel usage.
- Use the correct fuel grade for your vehicle model. If you are not sure, speak to your dealer for the best advice on what fuel to use to ensure optimum performance for your car.
- Replacing worn tyres is essential for vehicle safety on the road but can be expensive and is not covered in service/maintenance plans. Ensuring your car’s wheel alignment is set correctly will prevent premature wear and tear, fuelled in part by aggressive driving habits, and will positively affect your fuel consumption.
- Car insurance policies are like a safety net to protect your car. There are a variety of insurance policies available on the market – do your research and tailor a policy to accommodate your specific needs. Check in periodically with your insurer and negotiate lower premiums. A claim-free history will do wonders for your premium, and insurers are more likely to negotiate with low-risk clients. If your car is financed, it is important to note that having insurance is mandatory, so cancelling is not a wise (or possible) option. Also consider bundling your car and home insurance for a lower premium.
- Check your car licence disc expiry date. Keeping on top of renewal payments will minimise late renewal penalties. On the subject of penalties, it is equally important to follow the rules of the road. A traffic fine or infringement is an avoidable and unnecessary expense in your budget.
“The point is not to compromise the wellbeing of your car, but to invest in the most cost-effective ways to keep it running at its optimum performance level. Doing so could mean more savings to your budget in the long term,”
says Kutlwano Mogatusi, WesBank Motor Communication Specialist.
“The freedom of movement afforded to you by having your own vehicle is unparalleled. However, it is important to ensure your vehicle is maintained and in the best condition to avoid incurring unnecessary costs and expenditure.”