If you are a college student attending Texas Christian University, you’re likely on a budget. It’s the curse of all college students everywhere – the time and energy to do it all yet with no money to do it. But while you may be able to get by on a budget-friendly diet of energy drinks and ramen, you really can’t ignore the costs associated with getting your car repaired when it breaks down.
Yes, cost will be an issue for any college student facing a vehicle that needs engine repair or a new battery, but you really can’t ignore these issues. So if you’re on a budget, how can you keep those car repair costs down? Here are some tips.
Buy a New Car
Sounds counter-productive if you’re trying to save money, but new cars come with a far less chance of breaking down and requiring expensive work. You can finance a new car, putting the monthly costs in your control, plus new cars use up less fuel. In addition, new cars feature new technology, which can boost fuel efficiency, increase safety and prevent the need for frequent repair, replacement, and maintenance.
You also get a higher resale value on a new car, so you know you can recoup a lot of your cost when it comes time to sell or upgrade.
Plan Out Your Trips
Plan your trips carefully. Don’t just hop in the car and head to the grocery store when you need a couple of things. Wait and go once a week when you need a lot of stuff. Combine all your errands to a single day rather than heading out each day to do one thing. If you can walk somewhere on campus or in the surrounding area, do so.
When you do have to go out, determine the shortest routes to your destinations. Stay away from rough roads or mountainous areas where you will put more wear and tear on your vehicle as well as add to your fuel costs. If you carpool with friends to local bars, ask for a small fee to cover your gas.
Use Public Transportation
Public transport, as you know, is much cheaper than driving. Even if you were able to bring a car to campus, it’s advisable to take shuttles provided by the college to get to your classes or downtown.
There will be days when you and your friends want to take a day trip to Fort Worth. Pile everyone into one car and request that each person pays something toward gas. The next time an outing comes up, take another car and pay that person for gas, and so on. This way, one person’s car isn’t taking on all the wear and tear.
Maintain Your Car
Vehicle maintenance reduces overall operational costs. Don’t neglect the maintenance and service schedule set forth by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Regular service keeps your car in optimal condition, reduces the chance of mechanical breakdown, and enhances fuel efficiency.
Use top-quality mechanics who are trusted in the Fort Worth area. And always invest in quality parts. That’s because genuine parts protect your car from frequent damage and breakdowns. Be aware of your warranty and when it expires.
Look For Deals
Be on the lookout for seasonal deals and offers on fuel, maintenance and discounts off oil changes, for example. Also, call several different auto insurance companies before settling on one so you get the best coverage at the lowest cost.
Avoid Traffic Accidents
We know, we know. It sounds obvious, and it is. Traffic violations cause damage to your car. That damage needs to be fixed, and it’s not cheap to do so. If you’re past your warranty, you’ll pay more, and even if you get your insurance to cover some of it, you still have to pay the difference, plus deal with the inconvenience of not having your car to use.
Contact Rick and Ray’s Auto Plaza
Rick and Ray’s Auto Plaza caters to college students on a budget from Texas Christian University and all other area colleges. We know you have to keep costs down, and we offer the most reasonable prices and highest quality parts for your vehicle. To book service, contact us in Fort Worth TX at 817-609-4293. Located at 2425 Cullen St. in Fort Worth, TX, you will appreciate our business hours that accommodate your busy class schedule: Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.