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Como Reducir El Costo de Su Auto

How to Reduce the Cost of Your Car

by Allison Kane

Spending too much on your car? There are many opportunities to decrease the amount of money that you spend on your car.

In the United States, access to credit, to new or used cars, and the strong infrastructure and road system, have allowed many families to have at least one car. In fact, it is not only common to see families with several cars, but also to see families that depend on their car for their jobs.

While it is very easy to convince oneself that a car is a must, when we explore the amount that we actually spend on our cars, we may make decisions that are more advantageous to our budgets.

There are many costs associated with operating a car and which we often take for granted.  In addition to the costs of buying a car, there are finance costs, taxes and fees, depreciation, insurance, gas, maintenance, and repairs.  Ask yourself if that new car is really necessary, or if your current car is really fulfilling its purpose, and maybe you'll see that you could save by making some changes.

Drive More Intelligently

 Provide regular maintenance to your car, make repairs as soon as possible, accelerate and brake slowly, lower your speed, reduce the cargo weight, maintain your tire pressure, use the more efficient car, reduce the number of errands, and invite family and friends to come along with you.

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Compare prices and long-term expenses

 You may find that insurance costs can be reduced by shopping competitors, by adding an additional car to the policy, or by putting the policy in another family member's name.  Also, there may be discounts for which you qualify.

Financing your Car through a Credit Union

When you buy a car, you will almost always save money in the long term by financing your car through a credit union. Normally, a financial institution offers better rates and terms than auto dealers, and credit unions are known for having the best interest rates for auto loans compared to all other financial institutions. A better rate will mean that your monthly costs and the actual cost of the car will be lower in the long-term.

Compare the Real cost of the Car that you Want to Buy  

In addition, compare the real cost of the car that you want to buy. Just because a car has a lower price tag does not mean that it will cost less.  Use the calculator from http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController to get a better idea of the actual cost of your car throughout the first 5 years that you own it. This calculator takes into account the year and make of the car along with statistics on fuel efficiency, repairs, insurance, taxes, and other data known about the car model.

It may not be possible to get rid of or to replace your car, but it is almost always possible to reduce the costs related to car ownership and to save based on the responsible use of the car. As always, your credit union is a trusted source of information about savings and about car buying.

Published 9/26/2011

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