There’s a great many things that one needs to take seriously in life: a career, a healthy social life, and healthy finances – the list goes on. Between becoming a functioning adult and making sure that you continue to function as such is the need to get around the city they call home.
Some people will eventually want their own car, especially when the cost of taking Grab or Uber becomes too much, or when the commute becomes unbearable. It becomes twice as convenient to get around with a car of your own, but it’s also a huge financial commitment. Between the fluctuating price of gas, car insurance, and traffic in the metro, how exactly can you be financially healthy and own a car at the same time?
You might already be aware that every car that gets registered is required by law to have at least the Third-Party Liability cover, and that’s fine. The other issue is that your insurance will also differ if you plan on using the car for Uber or Grab. There’s also the fact that weather in the country can be unpredictable.
Between all these factors, having the right amount of insurance coverage for your car is necessary. If you’re having a tough time trying to figure out which company can provide the best one for you, you can visit comparison websites in order to get the most out of your premiums.
Don’t get a brand new car
While a brand new car may be chock-full of the latest security features and tons of technology, having all that in there factors into the price. It’s a fact that cars lose about ten percent of their original value the second you drive it off the lot, and another in the first year you own it.
If it’s your very first car, it might be more ideal to purchase a car that’s a year or two older than the current model – it’ll be cheaper and still have some of the bells and whistles that the newer models have.
Don’t abandon the commute
For the most part, the commute is cheaper than if you took your car out every day. There’s also the number coding scheme that you’ll need to deal with at least once a week.
Commuting, or walking, or biking (if you live close to your office) are all great alternatives to spending for gas on a daily basis. If the commute tends to be a little much, you always have the option to carpool with friends or colleagues who live nearby – you may be chipping in for gas, but there’s also the added advantage of conversation with people you actually like.
Give your car regular check-ups
The thing about cars, new or not, is that there’s wear and tear to deal with in every single one of its aspects. It’s ideal to take your car down to its service center to have it checked at least once every quarter or so in order to make sure that it’s in tip-top shape.
After all, the only thing more costly than owning a car is sending it into the shop for repairs when something goes wrong.
Don’t buy a car until you’re financially prepared
This should go without saying, but the thing about buying a car is that you really shouldn’t think about getting one until you can drop about a quarter of the car’s value as its downpayment.
Being financially prepared for a car means that you’ve already got enough savings tucked aside for this purpose, and you’ve factored the revolving costs of ownership into your income.
A car is one part transportation solution, one part an extension of who you are. To get the most value out of both, the best way to remain financially healthy while also owning a car is to care for it the same way you’d care for yourself.
Kyle Kam is from MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.