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Whether you are thinking of getting a car of your dreams, or a practical car to drive you and your family around, first establish your budget to see if you can afford a car. Buying a car is not just a one-off expense, and there are various day-to-day running costs to consider, such as fuel, parking charges, toll fees and the annual insurance, registration, car inspection, service and maintenance costs. Furthermore, if you are financing the purchase of your car, there will be monthly repayments to consider.

All these costs add up, so knowing how much you can afford will help you to determine if you should be getting a second-hand or a brand new car. Also, be on the lookout for any potential hidden costs. For instance, a brand new car will likely come with a new-car warranty, but be sure to read the policy document to see what is being covered. A second-hand car may be more prone to higher maintenance fees and repairs that come with the wear and tear of an older car. Pay attention to the followings and be a smart car owner.

Costs of owning a car

Fuel License
Insurance Repair and maintenance
Toll Registration
Parking Monthly financing payments, if taking a car loan

Money saving tips for car owners

  • Choosing your vehicle

    Save on fuel costs, and even licensing fees, by getting a car with a smaller engine capacity. With a second-hand car, ask for the vehicle history which will tell you if the car has been involved in any traffic or insurance accidents. You can also arrange for a pre-purchase car inspection. Knowing more about the background of the car may help you to save on unnecessary repairs in the long run.

  • Saving on parking fees

    Take advantage of shopping mall parking offers to save on parking fees. Parking in designated open lots will be cheaper than parking in a covered lot in residential area, though it will mean that your car is exposed to direct sunlight and rain.

  • Driving carefully

    Not only are you protecting your own safety, but if you hold an accident-free record and have not claimed compensation from your car insurance company within the policy period, you will qualify for a No Claim Bonus (NCB), usually a discount of between 20-50% of the premium payable.

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14 September 2017