When you purchase a car, you need to keep in mind that the money you pay then is not the only money you need to consider. Your car is going to require upkeep and those costs will add up. To figure out how much you should plan to pay, you should follow a car upkeep cost list in order to keep track of what is needed and how much each part will cost you. Here are eight things that should be included on your car’s upkeep cost list.
Protecting Your Investment
You spent a lot of money on your car, so you’re going to want to protect it. The first thing you should consider is what kind of car insurance you need. In most places, you will be required to have car insurance to legally drive your car. However, you might want more than the bare minimum required protection. In this case, you’ll be covered in more situations, but you’ll have to pay more for that protection. Search for a car insurance quote online and compare how much you’ll pay with different companies. You might find that two companies offer the same protection, but charge very different amounts for it.
You’ll also need to be prepared to protect your investment if something goes wrong. If you are in a car accident, your insurance will likely cover some or all of the repair costs. However, you might need to fight with them in order to get the coverage you’re entitled to receive. In this case, you’ll need a car accident lawyer to help you. A car accident lawyer is a personal injury lawyer who specializes in these situations, meaning they’ll be able to navigate the insurance system more efficiently than you can. While this is worth the cost, it does mean that you need to consider the money for a lawyer in your car upkeep cost list. Some lawyers will let you pay once you’ve received compensation, but you need to make sure that’s the case before assuming you won’t pay out of pocket. So make sure that you’re considering both of these things when looking for ways to protect your car.
Finding Reliable Service
If you want your car to run as well as possible for as long as possible, you need to take care of it. Make sure that you consider the costs of finding a reliable service when you need it. Many communities have multiple auto repair services that you can choose from. These companies will offer different things and will charge different amounts for their work. When you buy your car, look into all of your options before you need any repairs. This will give you plenty of time to compare the shops in your area. Find out which ones are trustworthy, based on reviews from previous customers. Since the majority of your car’s work will likely be done by one service, you need to make sure that they are reliable. By starting the search early, you’ll be able to find that out ahead of time, saving you potential frustration in the future.
You’ll also have to consider how you’ll handle the specialized services your car might need. For example, you might prefer to go to a tire service over having your local garage take care of your tires as well. This will result in a separate cost that you need to consider. So make sure that you know what kinds of service your car might need, where you can go for that service, and how much it will cost.
DIY Repair Options
If you enjoy working with cars, you can do a lot of simple maintenance at home. This will save you money and help you to know the inner workings of your car much better. In this situation, you need to account for how much you’ll spend on supplies for your repairs. You’re not paying for the labor, but you do still need to pay for parts and supplies. So when you’re making your car upkeep cost list, consider what you’ll need to buy to do things like changing your oil or filters at home. How much will these cost you and how often should you plan to buy them? Small costs like these can build up quickly, so you must include them when budgeting. Otherwise, you might not have the money for them when you need it.
You can also do a lot of your cosmetic work at home as well. While car dent repair can be done in the auto body shop, that can get expensive. If you want to get the dents out of your car, you need to decide whether you want to do it at home or if your money would be better spent having a professional do it. If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll need to purchase the equipment for car dent repair, which can be expensive. However, it is a one-time investment that you can use multiple times afterward. So consider your finances and your skill with cars, then decide which way you want to go. Either way, make sure that you include it on your upkeep list. While it might not be a regular expense, it is one that you will eventually need to pay.
Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Car
Is your home a safe environment for your car? Once you’ve brought it home, you need to make sure that nothing is going to happen to it. Consider the ways that your space needs to be fixed before you park a car there. If you’re parking in a driveway, the driveway needs to be in good shape. If the surface is jagged or has potholes, you might end up with dents, broken axles, or popped tires. Your driveway needs to be smooth and even, so look into asphalt driveway paving before you buy your car. Have a contractor come in and do it for you so that you know it is done correctly. This is a one-time part of the car upkeep cost list that can prevent you from having to add extra repair bills to your budget in the future.
When you’re parking in the driveway, you’ll also need to protect your car from the elements. While cars can handle heat and cold, extreme weather can cause damage that you might not have considered. Prevent this damage by purchasing a cover for your car. A good-quality cover will protect your car from snow and ice during the winter. It can also keep things like sap or bird droppings off, reducing your cleaning bill.
If you have a garage, your car will be even safer from the elements in there. However, this doesn’t mean it is automatically a safe environment for your car. You need to make sure that the garage is in good shape. You also need a secure garage door. Without it, your car will still be vulnerable to both the weather and criminals. Add garage door installation to your car upkeep cost list to keep your car safe.
Save Money Where You Can
Expenses can build up quickly, so you must save money when you can. One way to do so is to decide what you really need and what you can skip. If you decide not to buy something or wait until you’ve bought more important things first, you’ll be able to put that money toward something you need more. To decide what to buy and when to make a list of everything you want for your car. Then decide which of these you don’t need. While it can be difficult to give up on something you like, but don’t need, this approach can help you save money on your car expenses.
Another way to save money on your car upkeep cost list is to shop around. Don’t assume that the first place you go to has the best prices. Take your time looking for deals on things like a car sound system or other accessories. The internet is a great resource for this. You can look into what is available in both physical and online shops. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by buying from a certain store or by going for used instead of new. Or you might wait until something goes on sale before buying it. If you’re patient and careful, you can save a lot of money on your car upkeep cost list.
Spend on Necessities
While it is important to save money where you can, it is even more important to spend the necessary money on things that you truly need. Don’t try to avoid spending money on things like standard maintenance. If you do, you might end up causing damage to your car that will require an even more expensive repair bill. Or you could put yourself in danger by skipping things like auto brake service. Make sure that these necessities and their typical price are included in your car’s upkeep cost list. They are not the ones you should consider cutting if you need to save money.
Likewise, make sure that you spend the necessary money on auto body parts. You’re trusting your life and the lives of your passengers to these parts, so make sure that they are high quality. Buy the parts brand new or purchase used from a trusted source. But don’t buy faulty parts or go for cheaper ones just to save money. Instead, prioritize these costs. Your health and the health of your car will depend on it.
You don’t want your car to become a mess after you’ve spent so much money on its purchase and upkeep. So make sure that you include cleaning costs in your car upkeep cost list. This doesn’t need to be much money. If you don’t mind washing your car at home, you can do it very cheaply. There are also a wide variety of car washes and detailing services, all of which will offer different things and cost different amounts. So take some time to decide how clean you need your car and how much you’re willing to pay for that level of cleanliness. Since this is primarily a matter of personal taste, you can essentially earmark as much or as little as you want for this. Some people might want to fully detail their car every month while others will do the cleaning themselves, only paying for supplies.
If you want to drive your car, you’re going to need to pay for the fuel it needs to run. Paying for gas is an ongoing expense and the amount you pay can vary depending on gas prices in your area. If you want to know approximately how much you’ll pay for the gas each month, you can calculate it by figuring out how many miles you drive each week and how much you pay for the gas to do so. Add this data to your car upkeep cost list. Different cars will use gas more or less efficiently than others, so the exact amount you’ll need will depend on your car and your lifestyle. It might take a little time to figure this out, but know that you will need to buy fuel regularly.
It is extremely important that you know how much money you need to spend on your car’s upkeep. If you don’t plan for these expenses, they can prevent you from being able to drive your car at all. Or you might find yourself paying even more money than you otherwise would since you need to add in repair bills or last-minute purchases. Take some time to look into all eight of these on your car upkeep cost list and determine how much you’ll need to pay when it comes to your own car. This will help you figure out your budget.