Car ownership gives you the freedom and flexibility to pursue leisure and work opportunities you might have otherwise missed. But it also carries a stiff price tag. Aside from the hefty cost of the car itself, associated costs can really pile up. Driving an hour to work each day can cost some P40,000 to P50,000 in fuel annually. Add insurance and maintenance costs, between P25,000 and P50,000 a year for most owners, and things can add up really quickly. But with a few simple steps, you can cut your expenses while still enjoying the perks and privileges of car ownership.
Shop smart. Before buying, check out reviews from publications like Top Gear Philippines to see what fits you. Do you need a go-anywhere SUV? A highway-friendly big sedan? Can you squeeze family and groceries into a small hatchback? After you’ve penciled your short list, check owner forums and online communities for common problems and maintenance costs. That should put you in a good place to find the right ride.
Do-it-yourself. Not everyone is a handyman, but you can do a lot at home with inexpensive tools. Like washing and waxing. Or checking your oil and coolant. Or rotating your tires every six months to ensure they wear evenly and last longer. Even if you can’t do it yourself, knowing the ins and outs of car maintenance, such as PMS schedules, and how much oil your engine holds, means less chance of being cheated by an unscrupulous mechanic.
Hypermile your lifestyle. While Guiness Record fuel economy requires esoteric cheats and tricks, you can still stretch each liter for another kilometer or two by driving frugally. This means no tailgating. No abrupt braking. Lower speeds on the highway. And not trying to live your racecar driver dreams on city streets. All together, these can net you an extra 20% savings in fuel bills.
Avoid short trips. Cold cars are not happy cars. Every time you start one up for a short trip to the supermarket or mall, you’re using extra gas while the car warms up. Chaining trips is more efficient, and it ensures most of your driving is with a warm engine. Contrawise, if those really short trips are unavoidable, maybe you should consider walking or biking, instead.
Carpool! In the end, the easiest way to lower your costs is to share them. Most cars have three or four extra seats—use them! By sharing a ride with neighbors or family going in the same direction, you can save around P50,000 a year!
Car pooling is quite new in Manila, but it's starting to catch on as a means to cut down travel costs while doing your part in addressing the crazy traffic problem (less cars traveling with more passengers in them means less congested streets, right?). Good thing Wunder is a quick and easy way to find some people to share the costs with, or if it’s your coding day, to give you a ride.
Wunder app opens users up to the world's largest and most trusted carpooling community. Made up of thousands of car owners in Metro Manila who drive to work every day, the Wunder community ensures safe and easy-to-access rides, every time. Just download the app, enter your home and work location to be matched with friendly neighbors, and catch a ride to work for the cost of gas!
Life with a car isn’t easy, but follow these rules—and give carpooling a chance—and you'll surely have a lot more in your wallet to comfortably own one.
Download Wunder on iOS or Android. For more information on Wunder-Urban Carpooling, click here.