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Cars are becoming increasingly expensive to run and can be a sore point for those trying to survive on a budget.

An in-depth analysis by Budget Direct of the annual costs of running a car in Australia, shows the average two car household ownership costs added up to $15,807 in 2017, with fuel costs as the biggest ongoing expense for Australians who own their cars outright.

To meet your financial goals and have savings for a rainy day, it’s important to find ways to save money wherever you can, so here are 5 savvy tips to reduce your monthly car costs.

 

# Refinance your car loan

If you are currently paying a high amount of interest on your loan and want to reduce your monthly repayments, or simply want to switch lenders to access additional features, you may want to consider if refinancing is the right option for you.

Refinancing your car loan to get a lower rate or to pay less fees can have a significant impact on the total cost of your vehicle. Just be careful if you’re also extending the length of your loan because you could end up paying more in interest over the course of the loan.

 

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# Shop for the right cover of insurance

You should always examine your car loan insurance policy every year as rates can vary widely between insurance providers. Weigh up the difference between having a high premium and low excess versus the opposite. Understand what will be included in your level of cover and what is offered with a no claim bonus to ensure you get the right type of insurance to suit your needs.

 

# Stay on top of car maintenance

Performing routine maintenance on your car has many benefits, not only will it run more efficiently but it will also become more reliable. If repairs are required, researching beforehand can help you get an idea on the estimated repair cost to discuss with your mechanic. It also pays to ask for recommendations from friends or family for an honest mechanic which could save you plenty of time and money.

 

# Save on fuel

The cost of petrol for your car makes up a significant portion of the operating costs and it should always be included in your monthly budget. Save on petrol by using discount dockets and filling it up at the beginning of the week as prices can creep up towards the weekend. Planning your trips and being more time efficient also means you could do more with fewer kms.

 

# Find alternative ways for transport

Opting for public transport during peak traffic hours or arranging to carpool with friends or colleagues who live in the same suburb are also ways that could save you a significant amount of money each month.

 

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