Decisions, decisions.

We’ve made some pretty big life decisions over the past few years. Having children, moving house, changing career, that kind of thing. It feels as though we’re up for another one now though. Buying a second car.

Cars

Jacob and I have been back and forth on this subject for such a long a time. We are within walking distance of a train station and near a bus stop with direct routes to both of our neighbouring towns. Despite this I still feel as though a second car is becoming a necessity. Jacob works long hours. If he had a car he would be home much more quickly than his current walking commute of 40-45 minutes. The boys all have a wonderful group of friends and get invited to birthday parties. Sometimes these clash and it is a juggle to get them to where they need to be with only one car available. Shopping trips, getting ourselves organised, if one of us takes one child out or away the other is left without a car. The list goes on and now that I am disabled I think that it would be sensible to buy a second car.

Jacob sees all of this but has one objection: cost.

Cars cost a lot. I get that. There’s the initial purchase cost, insurance, fuel and most important of all: maintenance. I do feel that costs can be safely cut though. For example, we bought our current car at a very reasonable price. Yes we had a newer car to part exchange but even so. We shopped around, didn’t let distance put us off and found the perfect vehicle at a great price around 100 miles away. Not the easiest couple of weekends going there and back in a few hours to secure it, but it was worth it. I haven’t seen a similar car at the same price since!

VW Touran
We kept this car in great condition and were very happy with how much we were able to part exchange it for.

There are other things that you can do too. In fact enough that I felt compelled to write a list. Here it is:

Upfront cost. I’ve just spoken about this but shop around. There are the big websites like Auto Trader which are helpful, but most car dealerships have their own sites now too with most of their vehicles loaded on as they arrive and are made ready for purchase. Have a look at what is within a reasonable radius and take your time to go through them. It’s a big purchase and not something to rush.

Honda Civic
I loved this car! We bought it at a great discount by shopping around (and with a little haggling too).

Insurance. This can be costly so it’s worth shopping around for as well. Check with your house insurers if they will give you a discount for taking out a car insurance policy with them too. Always see if your preferred insurer will price match.

Tyres. Don’t cut corners. Those super cheap tyres might look the part but you’ll find that long term they are not value for money. Buy a decent set and have them professionally fitted. If you knock into a curb when driving, or run over a pot hole go back and have the tracking checked. Much better to have potential uneven wear corrected as soon as possible. Look after them. Keep an eye on them and check the pressure on a regular basis.

Parts. All cars go through their parts eventually. When it comes to replacing them it’s important to get the right ones, but you don’t have to go for brand new ones. Take KAP Motors for example who sell original second hand but totally road worthy, reliable parts for a fraction of the price. Some are even 50% of the retail price of a new one. That could give you some serious savings!

Black Renault Clio
Shopping around for parts helped us to keep this little beast in the family for longer than we would otherwise have had it, and saved some serious pennies that went towards our next car purchase.

Service plans. Getting your car serviced regularly could help to avoid nasty and large expenses, or at least prepare you for them. Check with your local garage if they are able to set up a monthly service plan for this to help to spread the cost.

So having carefully thought through the larger costs and come up with possible solutions, what do you think? Will I convince my husband that a second car is needed for our family…? What have I missed that might swing his opinion in my favour? Let me know in the comments below!

Decisions, Decisions Cup of Toast

N.B. This is a collaborative post. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

12th September 2018

4 comments

We have two cars. A family car, and a town car which my husband uses for commuting. The latter was bought from an independent garage which was several miles away but as you say, we shopped around. It was a good price and has served us very well. I appreciate that having two cars is a luxury, and with two cars comes extra expense. The child seat in my car (the family car) wouldn’t fit in the other car, so we had to buy two child seats. We have both cars serviced regularly by a local family run garage, and do shop around for insurance. We try to drive as efficiently as possible, and make routine checks ourselves to keep an eye on fluid levels and bulbs for example. Basic maintenance like this is something you can do yourself, and is important towards keeping the car healthy. With a young baby, having two cars means that we know that either parent has access to immediate transport if needed. That’s not the only reason for having two cars, but we appreciate the security of knowing we can be independently mobile at very short notice. There have been a few times my husband has needed to get home (or on one occasion, to the hospital) quickly, and having his own car has meant he’s been able to do this. If we just had one car, that would stay with our son and me while my husband walked to work, which would take a good hour of walking briskly. The buses would take even longer because of their tortuous route, and cycling would take time too. The cycle paths don’t offer a direct journey to work, and my husband often has quite a heavy load with him. We could make do if we needed to, but I do feel much more secure having access to two cars.

That’s exactly it. Plus I’d feel completely stuck if anything happened to my car and we didn’t have a back up option. I think that we have done well to get by with one car up until now but the time is right to buy another.

We have always had two cars, we live very rural and we both need a car. But even when it was only us and we both worked we had two cars. we have a little run around for me and we got service for three years in the price which helped a lot. good luck xx #Blogstravaganza

Thank you! Yes, that’s it really. Although we’re on the edge of a town we need a car to get to the supermarket, my husband needs one for work, when the boys have weekend classes/ parties. The list goes on, I think he might be warming to the idea…!

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