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.
Jacob and I have been back and forth on this subject for such a long a time. The train station is about 25 minutes away on foot and we live near a bus stop with direct routes to 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. After school clubs, family commitments. You get the picture – the list goes on and as 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!
There are other things that you can do too which look after your bank balance but still meet vehicle requirements. 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.
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!
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!
N.B. This is a collaborative post. Please see my disclosure page for more information.