Driving a car is something that can be of huge relief to us on a day to day basis. Being able to get where we need to be in reasonable time. The convenience of being able to go places without the reliance on public transport and delays. It can also be one of the biggest purchases you make in your life after your home, and so with that comes the responsibility and additional costs throughout the ownership of your vehicle.
There is no denying that one of the biggest headaches you can have when it comes to motor vehicle ownership, be that a motorbike, a car, van or leisure vehicle, has to be money. Money is the biggest issue as mostly this is what it comes down to. However, some of the main costs can be avoided or significantly reduced if you plan ahead, are aware of some of the pitfalls that can go wrong, and to be realistic about costs before even committing to owning a vehicle. With that in mind, here are some of the things that you can do to help you avoid some of those automotive headaches.
One of the first things that you can face when it comes to your driving ability is confidence. When you are learning, you are so enthusiastic about getting out on the road. You want to get behind the wheel, climb on to the bike, and just enjoy the new found freedom. Accept once you pass your test, your confidence can start to dwindle. As you realise you no longer have the support of an instructor to help you it might make you question your reactions and also your ability. However, while this may not initially cost you, in the long run, a lack of confidence could lead on to other issues especially involving accidents. The best advice is to trust your instinct and the judgement of an instructor who passed you in the first place.
Another thing that you may need to prepare for, but of course, have no way of ever knowing it will happen is an accident. This is because you will go about your business and do what you can to stay safe on the roads. But the main problem is that you can’t control other people’s behaviours when it comes to their driving. An accident can be a huge financial burden and automotive headache. I know first hand from my accident in 2014 that the legal battle, even if it’s clearly not your fault can be painful, low and costly. You have to consider that not only could there be vehicle damage that will need to be paid for, but there may even be injury to you. Which could result with time off work etc. Insurance companies will help bear the brunt of some of the cost, but an accident can be a real debilitating event when it comes to driving. So it is always worthwhile to ensure that you take on the road with care and confidence and adhere to road rules in the area that you happen to be out on the road in.
Another big cost to think about is the annual maintenance and repairs that will need to be taken into account when it comes to vehicle maintenance. You need to think about servicing and also the cost of parts for repairs. You could take a look here for specific motorcycle parts or search online for car parts to help keep the costs low. You might also be able to take advantage of warranty in some circumstances. A good idea would be to try and budget for this each year so that it comes as no surprise. We sat down and worked out our annual vehicle cost, divided it by 12 and now save that into a ‘car’ account each month – thus distributing the cost across the year.
One minute you are driving along all happy with yourself, the next a stone bounces off the road hits your windscreen and creates a chip. It can look like nothing, to begin with, barely even noticeable. You may be tempted to leave it a while and carry on as if nothing has happened. However, driving again you may suddenly hit some turbulence on the road, and the impact can turn that chip into a huge crack. It happens more often than you realise it. Things like online blogs can highlight the importance of tackling those chips before they become huge and expensive problems to deal with. Worst case a new windscreen, which can be pricey.
We can’t always predict if our cars are going to break down, or there are going to be issues mechanically. But we can do all that we can to try and avoid some of the common problems. This includes your brakes wearing low, your tyre treads not being as they should be, and even issues with your levels and clutch. Keeping up with your regular servicing can help you to avoid these issues, as a mechanic could pre warn you if things are likely to be going wrong.
Parking your car, leaving it at work or even outside your house leaves it open to issues with damage to paintwork. Scratches and dents can be a real problem if you don’t get them repaired soon. You might also be involved in an accident, which could cause damage in the way of big dents to the bodywork. If you don’t get them resolved, you can often see that the paint begins to get further damaged and even rust. Which is a more expensive repair in the long run.
Finally, taking note of your own drivers behaviour can help you to avoid costly repairs and automotive headaches in the future. First of all, always ensuring that you don’t drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Your spacial awareness, vision and ability to drive are completely compromised. Also, things like being tired can have a big effect on your driving ability, so only get behind the wheel if you feel able to do it. However, you may fit and well and able to drive, and your driving behaviour can still be affected by your attitude, such as speeding or trying to get somewhere in a rush. Making sure you adhere to road rules can help you to avoid any accidents in the future.
Let’s hope that these tips help you to avoid common automotive headaches.