Buying and running a car is a real drain on your finances! You save for years to purchase your dream car, only to pour even more money into petrol, tax, and maintenance. If you don’t budget correctly, your dream motor could destroy your personal finances. Unfortunately, not even the prettiest, fastest car on the planet is worth that!

If you’re on a budget, you need to take a more sensible approach to your new vehicle.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Buying a car can quickly run away with your finances. Even if you set a strict budget, hidden costs often creep in. After that, the running costs mount up faster than you anticipated. Here’s how to make sure your budget car doesn’t break your bank.

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Set a strict buying budget

First of all, set yourself a hard limit on what you’ll spend. This limit should include all the additional fees and dealer charges. That means you must never give this figure away at the showroom. Stick to around 5% lower than your limit when haggling. That way, you’ll account for the extra charges. It’s also worth saving for the biggest possible deposit. You’ll get better rates this way.

Buy second-hand

In the modern car market, there’s no reason to avoid the used dealership. Second-hand cars are often just as reliable as the used models, and half the price! Car manufacturers now offer seven-year warranties. So, buy yourself a three-year-old vehicle, and you’ll take advantage of four more years of guaranteed driving. This is especially true if you choose a manufacturer with a reputation for a reliability. Take a look at this inventory of used Volvos to get a sense of what’s out there.

Calculate your running costs

The biggest financial surprise often comes from the running costs. The amount of money involved in keeping a car on the road is enough to make your wallet flinch. Remember, every car has different running costs. Each has a different tax rate and insurance bracket. Each vehicle drinks fuel at a particular rate. If you’ve got your eye on a specific model, do your sums according to their specifications. Calculate how much petrol or diesel you’ll use each week. Get an accurate quote for tax and insurance. Lastly, set aside a budget for maintenance and repairs. A repair bill will inevitably hit when you least expect it.

Drive it carefully

Finally, your budgeting doesn’t stop once you’ve bought the car. The way you drive the car has a big effect on its running costs. Try to avoid revving the engine too hard or exceeding the speed limit. Keep the tyres at the correct pressure, and replace the oil regularly. By servicing your car like this, you’ll keep the engine healthy and functional. It reduces your maintenance bills and lowers your petrol consumption.

As a prospective car buyer, it’s up to you to take care when budgeting for your vehicle. From buying the car itself to running it every day, every penny counts!