049: Maintaining your car

This episode will give you Mia and Dinah’s top hacks for fuelling the admin for your car maintenance and repair.

The average two-car household in Australia spends around $17,000 or 13-14% of their income per year on car-related costs, so keeping on top of all your car admin not only saves you money but also gives you peace of mind that your car is in good repair.

In this episode Mia and Dinah discuss: 

  • Car registration (“rego”)
  • Insurance
  • Service and repairs.

In recent years, all states of Australia have abolished car registration stickers and so it is important to ensure you have a good system to make sure you receive your registration payment reminder so you don’t inadvertently drive without. You can set up your preferred method of bill notification by logging into your state’s vehicle registration organisation, such as Vicroads or Transport for NSW.

When thinking about car insurance, Mia and Dinah discuss the things you need to consider:

  • if you need comprehensive or third party insurance
  • if you want to insure for agreed value or market value
  • cover for personal property (eg child seats in the car)
  • road assistance to be included
  • how far you will drive as you may be able to get a cheaper premium
  • if choice of repairer and provision of rental car is important to you
  • who will be the primary driver – this does not need to be the owner
  • increasing your excess can be a great way to reduce your premium
  • paying annually in advance is another good way to reduce your premium.

The comparison sites Mia and Dinah recommend to compare car insurers are Canstar, Choice and Finder.

When getting your car serviced things to keep in mind are:

  • you don’t need to go to the authorised dealer to get your car serviced – any qualified mechanic can service your car and fill out the log book as long as they’re using quality parts
  • it is important to do your regular service to keep your car in good working order and save $ in the long run even if you aren’t regularly using your car
  • add a reminder to you to-do list for 6-8 weeks before the service is due to book your car in so you can get the day/time of your choice and have the best chance of securing a loan vehicle (if available) 
  • capped price servicing often does not include critical service items and may not provide the best value.

For regular car maintenance:

  • check your car owners manual to see how often and what regular checks you should do on your car (eg checking oil, tyre pressure, tyre tread)
  • establish a system of when you will check, consider pairing it with something else or adding it to a to-do list
  • buy a tyre pressure gauge so you can check you pressure at home and it will be more accurate that the gauges available in petrol stations
  • consider getting your tyres rotated and balanced every 5,000kms to lengthen their life.

You can also consider if you need to own a car or have two cars in your household. Car share services like GoGet, Flexicar, Popcar and ride share services like Uber may provide a viable alternative for you.

RESOURCES

Get Reminded App – App to set reminders for when bills are due

Choice

Canstar

Finder

Stella – Car Insurer for Women

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