The automobile industry is expected to be worth a whopping $2 trillion in the U.S. With thousands of new cars and models being released every year, the numbers are only expected to grow.
However, even though cars have become more mainstream, not everyone can afford to buy one. Yet, let’s not forget that you don’t necessarily have to buy a car to drive one. You also have the option to go for cheap car rental or leasing services to drive your dream car – but is it a good idea?
And even if you rent or lease a car, you still have to pay the sky-rocketing parking and maintenance costs. So what’s the best way to own a car and how can you save money as a car owner or keeper?
We’ll break this guide down into three sections – first, we’ll discuss car buying, renting and leasing. After that, we’ll talk about car maintenance and why car service is essential and lastly, we’ll share some tips to save money on car parking.
So let’s get started!
Buying vs. Renting vs. Leasing a Car – What’s Better and Cheaper?
Can’t decide between buying, renting and leasing a car, what you should go for? Well, the answer depends on a variety of different factors, so let’s shed some light on it.
When should you Buy a Car?
The average price of a lightweight vehicle in the U.S was estimated to be $40,857. This isn’t a small amount and certainly not something that everyone has lying in their homes.
So the question still stands – when should you buy a car? The answer is that it depends on your bank account and your personal preferences. If you are looking for a luxury car then it might probably exhaust your savings.
However, if you can settle with just about anything and you only need a vehicle for your day to day commute then buying a vehicle would be the better choice as opposed to leasing or renting.
But if you want to drive the latest model Lamborghini without having too much cash to spare, then we suggest exploring other options.
When should you Rent a Car?
Rental cars are a bridge between buying and leasing. You can get a car for a certain duration at an affordable price, but you do not get bound by a contract.
Normally, rental cars aren’t suggested for long-term use and can be heavy on your pocket. So the best time to rent a car is when you are going on a family trip or you need a ride for a certain occasion.
Rental cars do offer quite a lot of flexibility so if you plan on getting one then it’s worth learning how to find cheap rental car services.
When should you Lease a Car?
Do you have a dream of driving a luxury car but your finances do not allow you to buy one? That is when you should consider leasing a car. While in the long run, leasing a car can be expensive since you don’t actually become its owner, it is a great alternative if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. You have the liberty to drive your favorite ride at a fixed monthly payment.
Although a leased car has certain restrictions like if you exceed a specific monthly mileage limit, you would need to pay an additional fee. Moreover, you need to sign a contract for a specific duration as well.
In case you’re still confused between car leasing and buying, then check out our detailed comparison.
What is a Car Service and How it Can Save you Money?
Once everything is set and done and you’ve purchased a car, now you have to worry about its maintenance. People spend thousands of dollars every year on car maintenance and this can easily be avoided if you go to a car service professional every now and then.
A motor vehicle service includes a series of procedures where your car gets a complete tune-up. But how does that relate to saving money? Simple – the more you neglect your car, the more money you would have to pay on repairs.
People often purchase new cars and do not get them serviced for months, however, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. While it is true that new cars do not require maintenance as frequently as used vehicles, it still heavily depends on the usage and the experience of the driver.
If your new car is being used for commercial purposes, then it might start requiring maintenance within a few weeks or months of its purchase. Ultimately, it is suggested to go for a car inspection every month and get a full motor vehicle service at least every 6 months.
This will help you address any mechanical issues in your vehicle before they cause bigger problems. As a result, you’ll save thousands of dollars every year.
You can find a list of reviews of car services to find professionals who would make your vehicle as good as new.
Why should you get your Car Serviced?
As beneficial as regular car service is from a financial point of view, that’s not the only reason you should pay consideration to it.
Here are some other reasons to get your car serviced:
- Avoiding Mechanical Failures
You can never be too safe on the road. It isn’t wise to wait for your car to show prominent signs of problems to get it serviced. In fact, taking it to an experienced car mechanic every now and then can help you avoid mechanical failures on the road, which as a result, can also keep you safe from potential accidents.
- Long-Term Investment
Instead of an expense, think of regular car service as a long-term investment. If you are especially using your vehicle for commercial purposes, then it can go through a lot of wear and tear. As a result, if it doesn’t get serviced on time, then you might as well prepare yourself to spend thousands of dollars on repairs in the future.
- Retaining Car Value
People often purchase new cars and only after a couple of years they part ways with them at half the price. In most cases, cars are a solid asset and normally get you back the money close to the amount you paid during purchase.
But that won’t be the case if you do not keep it well-maintained. Regular service helps you retain the value of your car and you’d be surprised at the difference it would make if you ever decide to sell your ride.
- Smoother Driving Experience
Do you feel that your car is not as smooth on the road as it once was? Are you hearing a lot of weird noises while driving? Well, the reason for that is lack of maintenance and service. Regular service helps you keep your car in top condition and ultimately enables you to have a smoother driving experience.
5 Tips to Save Money on Car Parking
Now that you know how to minimize the costs of car maintenance, we only have one more problem left: how to avoid paying a hefty fee for car parking?
Here are some tips you can follow for that:
- Advanced Booking
Booking parking in advance often gives you a discount. Especially, if you are getting the help of professional parking services. Most people may not think of this, but booking your parking in advance can be quite convenient and also save you plenty of time, especially on busy days.
- Contact Parking Services
If you are looking for a list of parking services then you can find reviews of a list of companies on platforms like U.S-Reviews. Browse through the experiences of hundreds of users to determine which parking service offers the best rates.
- Offsite Airport Parking
Among other places, airport parking is normally the most expensive. But if you have a loved one coming from abroad, you can’t really help it.
This is why what you can at least do is to instead of parking right outside the airport, you can check parking plazas online near the area. You can also read up on more ways to save money on airport parking.
- Park at a Distance
Coming from our previous point, the strategy to park at a distance works pretty much anywhere. For instance, if you are visiting the New York Times Square on a weekend, you’re prone to find it packed. Not only will it be difficult for you to find parking, but the rates may also be higher.
So what you can do instead is to park at a lot near Times Square. At least this would be better than paying a ridiculous amount of parking fee and on top of that, wasting the majority of your time finding a spot.
Owning a car comes with its fair share of expenses. From maintenance to parking – every year Americans are paying thousands of dollars. However, with a little bit of planning and care, you’d be surprised how much money you’ll save.
This is why we hope that after reading this guide you’ve not only learned about different options to own or get a car along with their drawbacks but also how you can save money as a car owner!