A guide to managing the cost of a new car

A dependable car is a must for most people. From busy professionals who need a reliable vehicle for the daily commute to families with young children, having a car is essential for those every day trips. Unfortunately, with the hike in petrol prices and the rising cost of new vehicles, buying and running a car can be extremely expensive.

Affording a new car

Brand new, even the most basic super minis come in at more than £6000, while larger family cars can cost tens of thousands of pounds. This means the average motorist would struggle to cover the cost of buying a new vehicle outright.

Second hand cars make an excellent alternative, but a dependable car with a low mileage and a good service history is still likely to make a serious dent in even the healthiest of bank accounts.

Car finance plans can be a practical option when buying a car. With car loans from companies such as Just Car Finance, customers only need to pay a fraction of the full cost of their new car at the time of purchase and can pay off the balance in instalments. Spreading the cost of a new car over a number of months or years can help to make buying a car a more manageable option.

Running your car

When buying a vehicle, you must remember to factor in the cost of running a car in the long term. There are a number of things you can do to keep the cost of driving down and make buying a car a financially viable decision.

Insurance is one of the biggest financial drains for any driver, so do your research before purchase to avoid being hit by high premiums. Larger, more powerful cars will be more expensive to insure so opt for a supermini or city car with a small engine to reduce the cost of insurance. Younger drivers, in particular, can face high insurance premiums, so it’s particularly important to make sure that your car is in a low insurance category if you’re under 25. Putting additional drivers such as family members or partners can often help to reduce insurance premiums, but remember that if you are the main driver, you must declare this when you purchase your insurance or your policy will be invalid.

Petrol is a major drain on any driver’s finances. While it’s impossible to get big discounts on petrol, there are free websites such as Petrol Prices which can tell you the lowest petrol prices in your area and if you cover a lot of miles, you can make good savings. Supermarkets often have the best deals on fuel as well as offering loyalty points and cash back for those who fill up at their pumps. To make further savings on fuel, think about the way you drive; being in the correct gear and avoiding excessive braking can make a difference to your car’s fuel consumption, potentially saving you more money on petrol.

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