While the cost of owning and driving a car in South Africa is dependant on a number of factors, including the age and condition of the vehicle, the size of it’s engine and its aerodynamic profile, the single biggest of factor at play is the person behind the steering wheel!
This is because the way in which a person drives his/her car goes the furthest in determining how much fuel is used and what his/her vehicle maintenance requirements are.
Accelerating hard, braking fiercely and cornering at high-speed all increase the cost of driving, while simultaneously raising the likelihood of costly accidents and repair bills. Some insurance companies even use state of the art tracking devices to monitor one’s driving behaviour, which they use to determine one’s risk profile and subsequent insurance premium.
Ultimately, owning and driving a private vehicle comes with both fixed and variable costs.
Variable costs include elements such as fuel usage and general wear and tear on the vehicle’s engine, transmission, brakes and tyres. And let’s not forget other incalculable costs like the odd cracked windscreen, punctures, traffic fines, parking fees, tolls, breakdowns and tips for security guards!
On the other hand, fixed motoring costs are more consistent, thereby making it easier to budget and plan for ones monthly motoring expenses. They include things like insurance premiums, annual license fees and finance installments – provided the vehicle is owned under such agreement with a credit provider.
Vehicle finance is a bit of an anomaly – it could be either a variable or fixed cost – depending on whether the conditions of the finance deal include a fixed or variable interest rate, which is determined by economic factors and subsequent decisions made by the Reserve Bank.
Another fixed cost, if you own a vehicle and drive it on Gauteng’s freeways between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and are a registered user of the system, are e-tolls. Unlike the country’s interest rates, registered e-toll users have control over what they pay each month.
Government has determined this to be R276 per month, no matter how often you use the widened freeways in Gauteng. The same pricing structure cannot be said for unregistered users, whose e-toll costs are not capped, and which rise in line with their freeway usage.
As most financial advisors will tell you, it is always wise to draw up a monthly budget – and keep to it!
This is a responsible way to keep your expenses in check and to maintain a good credit record which, later on, can be used to help secure further credit or finance that dream home you’ve always wanted.
Know the facts. Visit www.etollfacts.info
For more information contact Sarah Campbell | firstname.lastname@example.org | 082 610 8091