Am I the only one who finds the idea of buying a car incredibly intimidating? I’m not talking about the process of going to the dealer, choosing a car, negotiating a price, and all of that. I’m talking about the actual concept of buying a car and owning something that costs as much as a typical car does! I don’t want to drive around in clunkers for the rest of my life, but I’m also really wary of putting a ton of my money into one single object that could be stolen or ruined. Also, what if I’m just bad at taking care of my car? I’d slowly ruin something that’s worth more than anything else I own. Is there another way to look at this that I’m missing?
You’re right: if you own a car, you own something that’s very valuable. And if you don’t take proper care of your car, you’ll be effectively stealing from yourself.
However, this doesn’t mean that owning a vehicle has to be a stressful experience. Taking care of a car isn’t nearly as difficult as it may seem to the average person. Well, at least, your role in taking care of the care isn’t that complicated; we can’t necessarily say the same on behalf of the mechanics who do the more complex work.
Getting the most value out of one of your most valuable possessions requires commitment, and some basic knowledge about car buying and car maintenance. Let’s go over it here.
Your car’s ability to hold its value is, as you might expect, partly determined by the car itself. Some cars hold their value better than others; however, what we mean here is getting a reliable car that runs well for years. Unless you’re a car collector, or you’re dead set on selling your vehicle in a few years, monetary value probably comes second to the utilitarian value of a reliable vehicle. And, how do you get a reliable vehicle? By turning to a reliable car dealer, of course! Buying a reliable brand like Mercedes Benz or Toyota is another big factor in vehicle reliability. As you will see, if you haven’t already, dependability comes with many different price tags. Good dealers will sell you reliable new and used cars. They will also know enough about their used stock to guarantee its quality. Trustworthy dealerships should offer warranties, too.
Once the car is in your possession, it’s up to you to keep it running. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to know a thing about car repair to keep yours running like a dream. All you have to do is accept your own limitations and rely on a trusted mechanic – one that holds an ASE automotive degree and certification. Ideally, you should choose one who is very familiar with your particular make and model of vehicle. Trust your mechanic, and stop by regularly for check-ups. Fix problems right away, and don’t neglect preventative maintenance! Car trouble never gets better – it only gets worse. Remember that new cars and certified used cars may have to be serviced at the dealership to preserve your warranty.
Of course, you could still get into an accident or have your car stolen. However, that’s what car insurance is for! You need at least basic car insurance to own a car, but certain optional policy perks – such as vehicle replacement – are wise investments for owners of valuable vehicles.
None of this makes your car any less important to your overall worth and finances. It’s just the opposite, in fact: taking the above common-sense steps will help you treat your car like the major investment it is. Treating it that way means you can rest a little easier knowing a valuable asset is protected.
“Wealthy people miss one of life’s greatest thrills – making the last car payment!” -Unknown