5 Ways People Waste Money on Their Cars

5 Ways People Waste Money on Their Cars

This may be something of a personal pet peeve, but why do people waste money on their cars? Spending money on cars, fine. Wasting money? Not so fine.

Of course, if you have a car, there are always going to be costs involved. From buying gas to car insurance, you can't get away from the fact that motoring costs money…a lot of it!

But with this in mind, it makes even less sense to waste money on cars. Below are five common ways people waste money on their cars.

Not maintaining them properly

Maintaining a car costs money, there's no denying that. However, failing to maintain your car costs you money in the long run and so ends up as a waste. For example, if you drive regularly and never change your air filter, you could be getting much less mileage out of your gas than if you changed it every 25,000 miles.

You could be penalizing yourself by as much as 15%, so this is potentially a serious amount of money going down the drain. The cost of changing the air filter pales next to this.

Furthermore, if your car is covered by a warranty but you don't get an oil change at least once a year, you might find your coverage denied if something goes wrong with your engine. Make sure to keep up your oil changes and save the receipts. And don't forget to fill those tires! Driving around on under-inflated tires will cost you more in fuel.

Getting a loan with a bad credit score

Sure, you really want that new BMW…even if you can't actually afford it. You'll just finance it, no big deal, right? If you haven't been paying attention to your credit score, you are going to end up paying way more than you anticipated.

It's a fact that your credit score plays a role in the interest rate you receive on your car loan. Because interest affects your monthly payment, the better your credit score, the lower the rate you'll receive. So if you want to trade in your current car for a new one, make sure to get your credit score up first.

Additionally, if your credit is bad, you will receive fewer loan offers (or perhaps none at all). You can assume that the few offers you do get will not be as competitive and again, you'll end up paying more. That said we all need a car so luckily there are options for bad credit car loans, until you get your credit repaired.

Making unnecessary modifications

Alloy wheels, tinted windows, and pimped-up engines all cost money you don't need to spend. In general, car modifications are unnecessary and are arguably a waste of money. Also, they lead to higher insurance premiums. So if you're looking to save money on your car, making modifications to it is definitely not the way to go.

Paying too much on insurance

It's not just modifications that have an impact on how much insurance you pay, either. You can't get away from all car insurance costs as you're required to have a certain standard of cover by law, but it is possible to get good value for money and it's definitely worth doing.

For instance, many people could save money by switching their insurance provider, or by making a few security additions to their car, which helps to reduce insurance premiums. As an example, parking your car in a garage rather than on the road significantly reduces your risk, which is reflected in car insurance quotes.

The modern age helps with this one a lot…as there are plenty of sites out there that will help you find the cheapest car insurance!

Ignoring warning lights

Your car's warning lights are there for a reason, so don't ignore them if they come on, or you could be throwing money down the drain. It might cost a few dollars to make a repair now, but something relatively minor could turn into a much bigger problem if you don't sort things out quickly.

Delaying fixing your car might save you money and time in the short term, but it's almost certain to cost more in the long run. And, as it is money you needn't have spent, that definitely counts as waste.

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Editor at Play Louder !

Kristin McCasey is a partner and editor atPlay Louder!She is a former award-winning film editor turned work-at-home-mom blogger. Three years after their son was born, she and her husband left their Los Angeles careers to have more time as a family. She now works with her husband, Joe, on their finance blog, teaching others how to achieve financial independence.