Can Owning a Car Actually Save You Money?

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When you think of car ownership, it’s easy to see it as a one-way street when it comes to finances.

Overwhelmingly, people will assume that owning a car will cost you money. To an extent, there’s a good reason for that. After all, car ownership means that you become liable for outgoings that include:

 

  • Paying for gas. Gas is currently running at around a seven-year low, with only six states charging above the national average of $2 a gallon. Nevertheless, it’s an expense – and an expense that can dramatically rise with one bad day on the financial markets.
  • Insurance. If you’re on the road, you should be paying insurance.
  • Maintenance. Cars don’t run themselves, meaning you’re going to have to find the funds for the occasional tune-up and services.
  • Emissions testing. And so the list goes on and on…

 

So looking at all of the above just for the sake of transport, it’s difficult to imagine being able to frame car ownership as anything but an expense. Perhaps even crossing the boundaries into being an expensive luxury, rather than a necessity.

 

However… it isn’t necessarily the case. While the ongoing expenses of car ownership are real, there are a few things that owning a car can do that can save you money. Sound tempting?

 

Of course it does – but you might have a few concerns to bust first. If you’re concerned about the upfront cost of the car, then it might be time to learn more about your borrowing options or consider secondhand vehicles. While there is this initial outlay to consider, if you’re smart about how you use your vehicle to cut other costs, you could easily earn the initial purchase back. On what areas? Let’s explore…

 

You Save Money On: TRANSPORT

 

 

If someone wants to save money, the first thing that will likely crop up in any advice guide is that they should take the bus or walk more often. That’s all well and good, but… buses are expensive too. Especially if you use them for a regular journey, such as a commute.

 

That’s not to mention that in some remote parts of the country, bus service is so poor it might as well not exist.

 

As for walking: sure, it’s a good idea to walk. It’s good for your health. But anyone suggesting you walk 25 miles to work every day is, simply, not being realistic.

 

With a car, you won’t have to pay for bus fares. You won’t have to pay for train fares. And you definitely won’t have to pay extortionate taxi or Uber fares on the occasions that those other methods of transport let you down.

 

You Save Money On: GROCERIES

 

 

The major benefit of owning a car is that you can buy in bulk. It’s very difficult to extreme coupon, for example, if you have to try and drag all of your bottom-dollar purchases onto a bus. It’s a feasible way of feeding your family if you can just load everything into the back of the car.

 

You also now have a wider range of places to shop from, rather than being restricted to online delivery catchment areas and where you can get a bus to. That means you could even cross state lines in preference for lower sales tax, for example.

 

In general, car ownership opens up the world to you. This can allow you to shop around in a way you never have before, never worrying about having to catch the next bus home or how you can load your purchases onto the train. You can shop at outlets for everything from clothes through to shampoo – and you never need to make a wasted trip. You can consult prices online, look for discount stores, and then travel specifically to them when you know they have something you want.

 

You Save On: EMERGENCIES

 

 

Note the loss of the word ‘money’ – because sometimes, the savings aren’t just about what you save in monetary value.

Sometimes, bad things happen in life. You might need to rush to the side of a sick relative, or you’re at work and get a phone call saying your child is unwell and you need to pick them up. Having to organize transport when you are stressed and upset is just going to make things even worse. It also might cost you money financially, as you jump into the nearest taxi and don’t care about the cost in the moment – but it will still bite you when it comes to balancing your budget.

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