Running a car as a young driver
After housing costs, a car is probably one of the most expensive things that you’ll pay for as a young adult. We look at the key costs involved in running a car and give some useful tips on how to try to keep them down.
What you must have by law
There are a few things you must have by law before you begin to drive your car on the road:
- Car insurance is a legal necessity.
- Car tax must be paid on all vehicles registered in the Ireland that are driven on or kept on a public road. It can be anything from €1000 upwards, depending on how environmentally friendly the car is. Now when you buy a vehicle, the car tax will no longer be transferred to the vehicle. So you must tax it before you can use it.
- NCT is a yearly test for all cars over three years old.
Other big car costs
Petrol or diesel
Top tips on reducing your fuel costs include:
- Consumption – consider the fuel consumption of any car you’re looking to buy. The bigger the engine, the more fuel it will use in general.
- Careful driving – being a little more gentle in accelerating and not driving quite as fast can reduce the amount of fuel you use significantly.
- Heavy items – don’t leave heavy things in the car if you don’t need them to be there, and take off roof racks if you’re not using them. The heavier the car, the more fuel it will use.
- Shopping – supermarkets often have very competitive fuel prices, and you can sometimes build up reward points to spend on other shopping.
Servicing and maintenance
The motor company the RAC says that it costs around €572 to maintain a used car over the course of a year. This includes getting the NCT, and any servicing and repairs required.
For a monthly fee, a used car warranty will cover certain repairs on your car, and may even include a service and NCT test once a year.
If you decide to take out a warranty, make sure you’re clear on what it covers and what it doesn’t.
The chances are that most drivers have experienced at least one breakdown.
Breakdown cover ranges from simply having an engineer take a look at your car at the roadside, to having the car picked up anywhere in Europe with a courtesy car to continue you on your journey.
Naturally, the higher the level of cover, the more it costs. Make sure you check what’s included in each level of cover and choose the one that best meets your needs.
One of the biggest costs when owning a car is the loss of value of the car over time – this is called depreciation. Brand new cars lose their value faster than used cars as they are more expensive, to begin with.
When you buy a car, think about what it might be worth in a few years’ time – you might be able to see the price of older cars the same make as yours on a car sales website.
You should always get a car checked out by a professional garage before parting with your cash
We offer this service here at Ronan Kelly Motors jut give us a callTags: buying a car