Your dream car: money-saving tips

From deciding to buy a car to actually owning the machine requires not only many trips to the showrooms and extensive search on the internet but also discussions with family and friends.

Published: September 8, 2012 1:24:25 am

Follow these simple steps and you could end up saving lakhs of rupees while buying and owning your dream car

From deciding to buy a car to actually owning the machine requires not only many trips to the showrooms and extensive search on the internet but also discussions with family and friends. While you zero in on your dream machine,you can save quite a good amount of money also by following a few simple steps. Some of these are:

Do your homework

Before heading out to buy your car,do comprehensive research on what you want. There are some good magazines and websites that offer car reviews,pricing and comparisons of different models. The more informed you are,the better choice you’ll make. Knowing how much a dealer paid for the car takes away one of their biggest edges in negotiating car prices.

Buying options

It is easy to get carried away at a dealership with the myriad of options that are available with the car. Do not buy options impulsively as you might not use them later and will end up regretting it. Don’t make buying unnecessary options like a roof-mounted DVD player a priority. Think about how you will use the car on regular days and buy accordingly.

More than one dealer

The price quoted by a dealer might be competitive,but you will never know the best price unless you are ready to do some leg work. Visit as many dealers as you can and compare the prices. Don’t buy in a hurry—give yourself some time,look for the best car and,most important of all,be flexible.

Haggle like a pro

A good bargain will save you a considerable amount of money. If you have done your homework,you will be in a better position to negotiate with the dealer and won’t have to pay more than you have to. You could also go through forums where people discuss their dealings with car dealers.

Consider depreciation

Depreciation plays a major role in reducing your car’s value. Take into account the depreciation factor before investing in a new car. You will want to get back as much money as possible when you finally plan to sell the car.

Small car,small bills

A small car will not only cost less,but will also save you a fortune on expenses like insurance and taxes. It is also considerably cheaper to maintain a small car as the cost of replacing and repairing spare parts is generally much lower in comparison to a bigger car.

Fuel efficiency

In this age of ever-rising fuel prices,it is important you choose a car with a fuel-efficient engine. A car with a smaller engine will generally be more fuel-efficient and will help you save quite a bit of money in fuel bills.

Buy an outgoing model

Though it is not the best idea to buy an outdated model,dealers offer tempting deals in order to clear stocks. If you plan to keep the car for a long time and resale value is not a priority,you could buy outgoing cars at a lower price.

Sell the car privately

You will most probably be selling your car before buying a new one. Advertise your car well,price your car realistically,and keep it looking good,as it will create a good impression for the buyer and make your job of selling the car a whole lot easier. Selling your car to a private buyer is also better than selling to a dealer as you will be able to negotiate better and get your desired price.

You can walk away

A dealer is not your friend,so don’t get swayed by his sweet words. Deliver an ultimatum. If you are getting close to a deal,say that you will buy a particular car at a particular price. And,finally,don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t reach the deal you’re looking for. There is always another car and another deal elsewhere.

Company cars

Running a company car is another great way to save money. An employer will offer different options to choose from,so you may even get to drive a better car. And,remember,the employer is getting a tax rebate while you drive it during the lease period. After the lease expires,you also have the option to keep it at a fraction of the cost. Some companies also offer to pay the fuel bills so you basically spend next to nothing.

Once you have bought your dream car,you can save a decent amount of money by following steps such as:

Insurance

It is a good practice to look for insurance schemes from time to time,so you have a better option every time the premium comes up for renewal. Some companies these days are offering better rates for customers who apply directly from the company’s website.

No claim,big money

There is another advantage of driving carefully. If you have driven your car carefully and haven’t claimed any insurance by the end of the term,you will be entitled to a ‘no claims’ bonus,which only gets bigger with every passing term in which you don’t make a claim.

Keep your cars shining

This is important if you plan to sell your car after a specific period of time. Washing your car regularly and getting it waxed keeps the paintwork looking as good as new. You can either opt to get it done professionally or wash it yourself,which will be cheaper.

Drive smart

Plan your trip before you leave and take the route with the fewest stops and turns,and the least traffic. Keep a list of needs that will require a trip and try to accomplish multiple objectives with each. Avoid hard acceleration and braking and change gears smoothly—you should see a marked improvement in your car’s fuel-efficiency and money saved.

Check tyre pressure

The softer your tyres are,the greater the friction between the road and the rubber,and the harder your engine will have to work to move the car. Make sure your car’s tyres are at the correct pressure as it not only reduces fuel consumption,but the tyres will wear more slowly. If you aren’t sure about the car’s correct pressure,check the owner’s manual for guidance.

Don’t skip servicing

Don’t skip a scheduled service in a bid to save money. This does more harm than good and can even cause long-term damage. You can also be more hands-on and do some maintenance like cleaning the air filter and save some money.

After-market servicing

Once the scheduled free services and warranty on your new car is up,you will find that getting regular services and repairs at the car showroom is expensive. Look around for dealers and local garages that specialise in your car,and opt for the cheapest one. Once you choose a dealer or garage,it is advisable to stick to it as they will,over time,know your car’s history and do a better job of servicing it.

Look around for fuel

You may be surprised by how much you can save by opting for a cheaper petrol pump. People in Delhi and Noida fill their car’s tank at Gurgaon because of the difference in the fuel prices between the cities.

Carpooling

If the daily commute to office is pinching your pocket,and the crowd and uncertainty of public transport is putting you off,then carpooling is the best alternative for you. It not only reduces your commuting costs,but also lets you enjoy the comfort of your car. You could join a carpool,even if you do not have your own car. Websites such as http://www.carpooling.in and http://www.carpoolsindia.com will help you find or create carpools.

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