Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Costs Associated With Owning a Car

For most people, having a car is a necessity. The price you pay at a dealership is a big part of what it costs to own a car but it’s not the only cost. There are many costs that come with owning a car and here are just a few:

Gas – With gas prices hitting a record high, you can estimate spending approximately $200 per/mo depending on where you live, how much you drive and whether you have a larger and less efficient model. When considering purchasing a vehicle, to see which car better suits your budget you can go to to look up the estimated fuel costs of certain cars.

Maintenance – Cars are expensive to maintain. Between seasoned tires, oil changes, yearly inspections, new headlights, emissions, dings and scratches and even parking, you’re looking at a big chunk of change being spent at the end of a year.

Depreciation – This is the number one hidden cost of owning a car. Depreciation is the decline in a car’s value. The minute you drive your vehicle off the dealer lot, your car loses some of its value. This is a hidden cost because you only notice this loss when you’re ready to sell or trade in your car and it’s not nearly worth as much as you thought it was. Before purchasing a car, do some research as some cars don’t depreciate as fast as others.

Insurance – The price for insurance will of course vary depending on your driving history, where you live, what kind of car you drive etc.. Outside your car payments, car insurance can be the biggest expense you’ll see each month.

However you think about it, owning a car is extremely expensive so consider the above before making a car purchase. Prudent Value Cars offers top quality, pre owned cars and trucks with low kilometers. Visit to view our inventory page.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Is Car Sharing?

Car sharing is different from Carpooling. Carpooling is the shared use of a car by people who have a car but travel together to save costs. Car sharing is a model of car rental where people can rent cars for short periods of time. A car can be rented by the minute, by the hour or by the day. This is great for people who only need a vehicle occasionally or want access to different types of vehicles.

There are many people across the country saving money on using a car sharing service. You share the car with many other people without having to purchase a car. These services allow you to pay for the car only when you need it. For occasional drivers, car sharing is a less expensive method of having access to a car while avoiding all the costs associated with owning a car such as gas, insurance and car maintenance. When you rent your vehicle, all the costs are
included in the rental and even parking.

Car sharing also has benefits on the environment. It reduces the amount of driving done which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted in the atmosphere. Fewer cars on the road also leads to a healthier environment for your community by eliminated exhaust being inhaled by the people who are not in vehicles.

Every individual is different. Whether you may use car sharing services because you’re feeling the financial pinch of a stressed economy, you’re environmentally conscious or you live in a city and travelling at night on a bus is questionable, there are many car sharing services out there that will suit your needs. If this sounds right for you, go online, ask around and do your research before you make any decisions!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Car Loans versus Car Leases

To lease a car or to buy a car is a common question when thinking about purchasing a vehicle. This is not a question that can be answered yes or no as it really does depend on the situation and preference of each individual. Leasing and buying are two different finance methods, one is the financing of using the vehicle and the other is the financing of buying the vehicle. Here are just a few differences to consider before making your decision:

Car Mileage – This is the biggest drawback of leasing a vehicle. Most leases allow usage of 20,000 – 24,000 kms/per year and should you exceed the limit, it will cost you quite a bit of money. You can always negotiate a higher mileage limit but your monthly payment will increase. When you purchase the vehicle there is no limit however the higher your mileage, the lower your cars trade in or resale value will be.

Monthly Car Payments – Your monthly car payments with a lease are lower than the monthly car loan payments and this is because you’re only paying for the vehicles depreciation, interest, taxes and fees and at the end of the lease, there is the option to return the car or buy it out. With a car loan, you’re monthly payments are higher as you’re paying for the purchase of the vehicle plus the finance charges, taxes and fees but at the end of your loan, the vehicle is yours to keep and you will no longer have any monthly car payments. You must decide if it’s more important for you to pay off your vehicle and be debt free for a while even if this means having higher monthly car payments?

Wear and Tear – Most car leases have limits for the wear and tear of the vehicle during the lease term. Upon returning the vehicle, if you have exceeded the limit, you will be charged. When you buy the car there are of course no limits or charges for excessive wear and tear, however, similar to the car mileage this will lower the trade in or resale value.

There are many more factors that you should research. If you want a newer car, not new but a good used car then it may make more sense to save up for that. If you start to pay yourself monthly for a year then at the end of the year, you may just have enough to purchase yourself a reliable used car that you can pay in full and you’ll be left to absolutely no monthly car payments.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Car Care Tips You Can Do To Free Up Money To Pay Off Holiday Debt

The holiday season has just ended and although you immensely enjoyed the holiday, you’re now drowning in debt and the holiday blues are setting in. Your car is a big investment and an important part of how you live your life. Working on making small car expenses a part of your car maintenance routine rather than spending the money on a mechanic to make them happen will free up money down the road which can be used towards paying off your debts. Here are some tips that make the effort worthwhile in the long run:

Fluids – Checking the fluids regularly helps safeguard against breakdown. Learn to check your car fluids yourself and then do it often. Once you get the hang of it, it won’t take long. Keep a spare bottle of antifreeze in your trunk, it’s inexpensive and it may be just what your car needs on a hot day to avoid overheating.

Paint scratches – The reason touch up scratches are expensive through a mechanic is that the shops are most likely to paint an entire section so that the colour blends in. You can save money by touching up the scratch yourself. There are so many resources available to help you to learn how to touch up the scratch yourself. You may want to google touching up paint scratches and you’re sure to have tons of articles and videos showing you step by step on how to get it done yourself with little cost.

Car light bulbs – There are a lot of light bulbs that are used in a car. There are tail lights, head lights, brake lights, fog lights and side lights. Check your owner’s manual for accurate light bulbs to purchase and once you know what you’re doing, each change will be easier. You don’t need to go to the car shop to get your bulbs replaced and changing them yourself will save you a great deal of money.

Air filters – Usually when you get an oil change, the service manager will come and show you the dirt and dust your air filter contains and then suggest that you replace it. Remember there is always a mark up and it’s really easy to replace yourself. Usually the air filter is in an easy to reach spot and all you have to do is open the metal or plastic clasp, lift the cover to pull out the old one and put in the new one.

Window cracks –If you notice a chip in your windshield, you should have it sealed as soon as possible to save the crack from continuing to grow requiring you to replace the windshield. Sealing the chip or crack can save you hundreds of dollars!

These are just some steps that you can use to save you money but always refer to your owner’s manual as it may contain some instructions on how you can take care of your car and also give you tips on how you can replace or clean parts of your car.
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