Staggering cost of owning a car and ways to save
There are some sure fire ways to drive up your savings in 2019.
Last year the Australian Automobile Association put the average cost of transportation per household at $18,221.
This figure factored in a number of costs including depreciation, fuel, insurance, loan repayments, tolls and registration.
However, the growing car sharing trend in Australia can help you make money on the side while also reducing your ongoing costs.
Will Davies, the boss of peer-to-peer car sharing platform Car Next Door, says following a few rules can save drivers up to $5800 a year.
"Cars are one of the biggest expenses we have and when you look at all the outgoings like registration, fuel, insurance, tolls and depreciations, they quickly become a huge financial burden," says Davies.
"The amount of money spent on cars that are parked 95 per cent of the time is just mind-blowing."
Davies says people who use the Car Next Door service can make anywhere between $3500 and $10,000 a year by renting out their vehicle while it isn't being used.
Shaun Heron signed up his car to rent via the peer-to-peer service and has used the proceeds to cover the costs of ownership and a little bit extra.
"I live in Surry Hills and have a job that allows me to take public transport to work," says Heron. "Rather than have my car sit on the kerb gathering dust, I rent it out to neighbours and people in the community by the hour or day to offset the cost of owning it."
"Instead of the car costing me money, I make a little extra money on the side - it's been out every day this month," he says.
If renting your car out to strangers isn't for for you there are other ways you can reduce costs.
Davies says cutting your fuel use will go a long way to reducing running costs. One way to do this is make sure you maintain optimal tyre pressure as more surface area on the road leads to more resistance. Another way to keep fuel use down is to reduce unnecessary loads in your vehicle. Davies estimates fuel consumption increases by two per cent for every 50kg added.
Heron put this theory to the test: "I save on fuel by making sure I don't drive around with anything in the back. It's a small car, Mazda 3, so if it's loaded up, it definitely uses more fuel. I moved house and left three boxes of books in the back and it really made a difference," he says.
Comparison website Finder says drivers should look to fill mid-week when fuel is generally cheaper or use fuel price apps to find the best deals in their area.
Using public transport when available was also another popular choice for reducing running costs.
Other ways to reduce your average spend is to shop around for the right insurance deals. Owners are often too reluctant to change providers which can cost them hundreds of dollars a year in extra premiums.
The same principle applies to tyres - shop around and don't always go for the cheapest option which can wear quicker and become a safety issue.
"I always shop around for tyres and get a few opinions. I'm also big on maintenance and get the car serviced regularly, going off kilometres not time. Making sure it's in good condition also helps with car sharing," says Heron.
Regular services will also help reduce the biggest single cost of owning a car, depreciation. Buyers will pay more for a car with a stamped service book.
And if you are able make sure you pay down your car loan as quick as possible to reduce interest costs. But make sure that there are no hidden penalties for finalising the loan early.