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Top 10 ways to waste money on your car

06 Sep 2011 Features

Top 10 ways to waste money on your car

Owning a car has never been so expensive. There's the initial price, insurances, rego, ongoing maintenance costs; not to mention the ever-increasing fuel prices that leave us all a little strapped for cash.

Here are some top tips to keep car ownership affordable:

Forget to maintain a logbook

Don't forget a logbook

Tracking every repair and service on your car will save you money and long-term peace of mind. It's especially important to keep all receipts to remind you who did what and when as well as to give you confidence to know if you're being pushed into a repair your car doesn't need. A service logbook helps with the resale value too.

Buying premium fuel

Buy premium fuel

You may think premium is best for your car but that's not always true, especially if you have an older car.

Buy premium fuel

Generally, its only high performance cars that "require" high-octane fuel so if it's just "recommended" you can still buy regular and it won't damage your car.

Tyres

Tyres

Guaranteed, when it comes to changing your tires, you'll be guided towards the pricey super grip, high performance variety. Unless you're burning it up on a racetrack, everyday driving needs everyday tires. Oh and keep them inflated properly for added efficiency.

Air filters

Air filters

Old air filters clog up over time and can significantly affect the mileage you get out of a tank. Try to fit a fresh filter every 40,000 kilometres for economical benefits.

Coolant

Coolant

Most mechanics suggest flushing out and replacing coolant regularly. If you have a fair few k's on the car then yes, but modern coolants are designed to last five years, so only change it when you need to.

Navigation Systems

Navigation systems

Did you know that having a built in navigation system can add an extra $2,000 to the price of the car? Don't base your car buying decision on it, shop independently for one or use your Smartphone instead.

Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance

When it comes to car maintenance basics, many of us are clueless. But learning a few simple tricks, like changing a tire or replacing wiper blades is worth it in the long run.

Unnecessary tune-ups

Unnecessary tune-ups

The manufacturers have the car in mind; the dealerships have money on theirs. So don't fall for endless "tune ups" that aren't necessary. As long as your car's running well, stick to the manufacturer's suggestions.

Insurance

Insurance

Don't buy more cover than you need and research the market. Do you really need fully comprehensive cover on a 20-year-old rust bucket? Probably not. Shop around for a deal and remember you'll probably get stung if you renew with the same company after a years up.

Car wash

Car wash

Unless you have a swanky ride that needs the whole shebang, why pay the big bucks at a car wash when you can do it yourself with a bucket, sponge and some elbow grease. Come on...