There’s no doubt that owning a car isn’t an investment. Cars are costly to run and maintain, and steadily lose their value. While you can’t expect to not have to spend any money on your vehicle, there are steps you can take to bring the cost down. Here are five car expenses you can easily avoid having to pay for.
1) Lost keys
A couple of decades ago, car key replacements were easy to obtain and cost a lot less than they do today. A car key replacement will now set you back between $50 and $500. Basic aftermarket key fobs can be purchased from and programmed by locksmiths, but a factory fob will need to be purchased from a dealership, who will likely charge you for the labor.
You can expect to spend upwards of $200 for a keyless entry fob. If you don’t currently have a spare key, shell out the money now before losing your only copy. Without any copies, you’ll have to spend around $1000 to get all the locks on the car replaced.
2) Car accidents
It will come as no surprise that one of the most costly mistakes you can make is getting into a car accident. Even if your car isn’t severely damaged, you might get hit with a car accident damages claim. While this is something you should have insurance for, if you’re found guilty, your insurance rates will skyrocket.
It’s fun to drive fast, but the consequences could not only be costly, but also fatal.
3) Unexpected lawsuits
Even if you drive responsibly and do all you can to avoid getting into an accident, sometimes it’s unavoidable. You could be parked at a light with nowhere to go and have another vehicle rear-end you. While you know you’re not at fault, without witnesses, the other person could lie and state they were not responsible or make a damages claim against you.
Though you might trust others to be honest, protect yourself and get a front and rear dash cam so that you never have to worry about it coming down to your word against theirs.
4) Replacing suspensions
If you have to replace the suspensions on your vehicle, it will set you back at least a couple thousand dollars. When buying a used car, make sure you check out the quality of the suspensions before going through with the sale. Whether you’re driving a new or used car, the way you choose to drive will determine the lifespan of your suspensions.
Make sure you break gently, don’t exceed the weight-limit, drive over speed bumps slowly, and take the time to regularly maintain the suspensions.
No matter how psyched you were to purchase your vehicle, at some point, you’re going to want to sell it and get something newer. While you’ll never sell it for the price you bought it, you don’t have to lose tens of thousands on it either. The next time you purchase a car, go for something that’s used, but only a few years old.
Some makes and models depreciate more slowly than others. If you know you’re going to want to sell in a few years, buy something that’ll get you the most bang for your buck. Your wallet will thank you later.