Episode 96: Reduce the Cost of Car Ownership

Cars can be expensive, both to buy and to maintain. Here are several strategies to think about to reduce the cost of car ownership.

2 responses to “Episode 96: Reduce the Cost of Car Ownership

  1. Dawn- Such a fraught topic for those of us who live in So Cal!! I know lots of folks who lease in order to be spared the risk of large repair bills. Obviously, it means paying without potentially owning, but for a lot of people that is no different than flipping out a car every few years. What are your thoughts on this? And also on buying a car that has been a lease or fleet car rather than a privately owned car?

    1. Leia, you are right, I didn’t address leasing. I have an upcoming blog post about my leasing experience, but for now I’ll say that it really depends. In the situation you described, if one wants to avoid repair bills and prefers to flip cars frequently, then leasing is a good option. I would still use the same parameters as for financing – don’t lease for more than 3-4 years, so make sure the payment is affordable. Be sure to take whatever down payment was required and divide it by the number of lease months to add to the monthly for your total cost of the car. Leasing a lower end car might make having a car very affordable compared to financing one to own it. I know plenty of business people that write off their lease payment, too, so that is a benefit. I didn’t feel it was right to do that, since I don’t use my car mostly for work. In my case, leasing was a bad decision, for reasons I’ll write about later. As for buying a fleet car, my gut instinct is I would go for a car that was owned by only one person that kept good records. Sure, people leasing have to keep the car in decent shape, but you have no idea how well they did their maintenance, et al. If the dealer was offering some guarantees on the condition of the car, I might change my opinion. Hope this helps!

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