From the moment you purchase it, owning a vehicle is expensive. To buy it, you need to come up with the purchase price or down payment, there are fees to register and tag your vehicle, and sales tax is assessed on the purchase.
Buying a Vehicle is not a One-Time Cost!
You will also need to pay for auto insurance the entire time you own the vehicle. If you took out a loan to buy it, there are monthly payments and interest charges for the term of the loan.
Registration, inspection fees, and property taxes are renewed or assessed each year. There’s also the cost of oil and gas, which cost the average household $1,900 in 2016, according to a BLS report on consumer expenditures. The same report found that other annual vehicle costs, such as regular maintenance, averaged nearly $2,900!
With such high costs, if you’re on a tight budget, and public transportation is available where you live, you’re probably better off selling your vehicle to avoid these hidden charges.
Why Selling Your Vehicle Might be the Best Option
If your car is in bad shape, you might be tempted to hang onto it because you mistakenly believe no one will want to buy it. Don’t let fear hold you back from taking the right step to get your finances back on track!
Even if your vehicle is old and needs body work or other repairs, you can probably still sell it. You just need to search online for a local or regional buyer that accepts vehicles in all conditions.
For example, if you live in a southwestern state, such as Utah, just conduct an online search for sites that pay cash for clunker cars in Utah. Next, contact a few of the companies that turned up in the results and ask for a quote.
Regardless of how old it is, and even if it’s not currently running, your vehicle still holds residual value in the form of its parts and scrap metal value. That’s why someone, somewhere, will probably be willing to buy your vehicle, even if it’s an old “beater” car.
What to Do if You Really Don’t Want to Sell Your Car
Even if your car is a piece of junk, and busting your budget, there may be valid reasons for holding on to it. For example, if you don’t have alternative transportation that’s reliable, you may need to keep it so that you can get to work and other places you need to go to. Most of us also associate car ownership with freedom, so if you really value your independence, giving up your car may be a step too far for you.
If you aren’t going to sell your vehicle, and it’s straining your personal finances, you need to try to make the best out of a bad situation. Look for ways to save money on your regular auto expenses, and seek opportunities to make money with your vehicle.
Tips to Reduce the Cost of Owning an Automobile
Contact your insurance company to see if you can bundle your auto insurance with another product to save on your premium. Check to see if you belong to any associations that qualify you for a discount. If you’ve had a good driving record, or been a claims-free customer for a long time, don’t forget to just ask your insurance agent for a discount!
If you are at all mechanically inclined, it will pay you to take a class at your local community college or with a local car club to learn how to take care of simple maintenance tasks. Once someone shows you how, changing your brake pads, oil, battery and serpentine belt is typically not that difficult.
Turn Your Vehicle into a Money-Making Machine!
Finally, if your car or truck is costing you too much money to own, you might be able to offset some of the cost by using your vehicle to make money. For example, Getaround, Uber and Lyft are three of the numerous companies that will pay you to give people rides in select cities.
Amazon and other companies will pay you to pick up orders and make local deliveries in select cities. TaskRabbit connects you with users that will pay you to complete chores, such as picking up and delivering their dry cleaning.
Some companies will even pay you if you will download an app that allows them to track and study your driving patterns.To find out more about these and other opportunities to make money with your car, just conduct an online search for “ways to make money with your vehicle” and try out a few of the results!