When you’ve got young children in tow, one thing you will depend on is your car. With growing families, it’s important to have a bigger vehicle for obvious reasons. The thing is, many parents worry about rising maintenance costs of the cars they drive.
Sure, today’s vehicles are more reliable than ones built many years ago. But, the sad truth is that if something goes wrong, it could become a costly repair. This begs the question: is there such a thing as an affordable family car? Well, the answer is yes – believe it or not!
Are you going to shop around for a new family car soon? If so, let me share with you some tips to choose one that won’t hurt your bank balance! In today’s blog post, I won’t share with you ways to buy a cheaper car. Instead, I’m going to reveal the secrets of lowering the risk of expensive repairs. Intrigued? Keep reading to find out more!
Don’t buy one without a full service history
The way that a car got treated by previous owners will impact your repair bills. It will also affect things like fuel costs and insurance too. If you’re planning to buy a used family car, there’s one thing you need to check before anything else.
A “good” car will have a full, documented service history. Ideally, it will have got repaired by a main dealer. And each service will have got carried out as per the recommended schedules. Avoid anything with a partial or even no service history. Especially if it’s for sale at a mouthwatering low price.
Don’t buy a family car just because it’s cheap
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is to get a family car because it’s super cheap. It’s a bad strategy to apply for any vehicle. And it’s even worse when looking for family-friendly cars.
Instead, you need to be savvier with your vehicle shopping. Go online and research some of the best models that meet your needs. Next, read some reviews of them. Not just from motoring journalists but current and former owners. You’ll then get a better idea of the pros and cons of each model.
Sometimes you might need to pay a little more for your car. But, if it means the total cost of ownership is lower, it makes perfect financial sense.
Set up a payment plan for future servicing and repairs
Today’s dealerships will do anything to get your business. One such example is to make it more enticing to have your car serviced and repaired with them.
Believe it or not, it’s now cheaper to have them service your car than rival independent garages! That’s because they offer customers the option to set up a payment plan for future servicing work. You pay a low monthly price. In return, you can enjoy guaranteed services and repairs for the duration of the plan.
You can customise it to include things like brake renewals and air conditioning recharges. To further sweeten the deal, they’ll discount the services. That means you’ll pay less on the plan than you would as an ad-hoc customer.
Another selling point of service plans is you don’t get charged any interest. That’s because you are “saving” the money with them. You aren’t technically borrowing anything from them.
Buy your tyres on the Internet
It might sound like an odd proposition. But, if you can buy pizzas online and get them delivered to your home, why can’t you do the same with tyres?
These days, most online companies also provide mobile tyre fitting services. You can have new tyres fitted on your driveway at home or while you’re at work. That frees up the valuable spare time you’ve got as a parent to do other things. How brilliant is that?
Sign up to an enthusiast’s forum
Last, but not least, you’ll want to learn ways of maintaining your family car for less. Let’s face it, you don’t need a main dealer to carry out all repairs to your vehicle! Some basic things like changing wipers or bulbs you can do yourself.
Following your car’s owner’s manual is one thing. But, enthusiast forums are full of owners that can share time and money saving tips with you. For instance, they can tell you where to get the best deals on the parts you need. They might even offer “group buy” discounts if you buy items through their website.
The above might seem like simple steps you can do. But, they are powerful ways to save money and have a more affordable family car. Good luck!