Driving On a Budget

  Driving on a budget this Njaanuary


  With a tight budget to work with this “njaanuary”, one expense that you need to keep a close eye on is your motor vehicle expense. Here are few tips to help you ensure that your car does not drive you into financial ruin this month, pun intended.

 

Tip 1: Use public transport on weekdays

This will help you save in a couple of ways:

  • If you work in the CBD, the county council charges KES 350 per day. By taking a “matatu” to work, you save on this expense. 
  • By javing during the week, you get to save on unnecessary fuel consumption. 
  • For the brave, use a “bodaboda”
  • For those living on or around Mombasa road, consider using Syokimau Express. Unlike older trains, Syokimau Express is clean and takes around 45mins from Syokimau to CBD.
  • On the brighter side, ditching your car for public transport, allows you to engage in walking which is a healthy and inexpensive form of exercise.


Tip 2: Car Pool

This is where you and your group of friends agree to share one vehicle to get to a certain destination. For example, if you and your four friends live in the same area and you are always going to work in the same destination, you can agree to use one car every day, and alternate each other’s cars on a weekly basis.

Carpooling allows you to save up to 50% on fuel money and also parking charges. It also prolongs the life of your vehicle by reducing the kilometers driven, as well as the wear and tear.

The best part about carpooling is that it allows you to chit chat in the car during long boring Nairobi traffic. Solo drives stuck in Nairobi traffic can be lonely and boring.  Ideally, if we all carpooled, we’d reduce traffic and the time it takes to get to our destinations significantly, as there will be fewer cars on the road! 


Tip 3: Fill your tank

Just like the human body, the car needs to be fed so that it can have the energy to move you from one place to another. Otherwise, it’s bound to embarrass you and leave you stranded. To avoid that embarrassment of carrying a jerry can to a fuel station or calling your friends to come to your rescue, ensure that you fuel your car full tank when it’s time.

It is recommended that you fuel full tank for the following reasons:

  • It saves you time especially when there is traffic and you are short on time. You do not need to stop and waste 5-10 min fueling.
  • When the fuel levels are low, dirt and other impurities may get trapped and block your fuel filter. This results in frequent and expensive service and repairs.

 

Tip 4: Stick to one Mechanic! 

Avoid changing mechanics too frequently. Sticking with the same mechanic allows him to maintain a history of your car which allows him to undertake future checks and repairs easily even in your absence because “he knows your car”. For example, a golf GTI may flash the “check airbag” sensor. A new mechanic, who has no prior history of your vehicle, may be alarmed by this and recommend expensive repairs, whereas a mech who “knows your car” can recommend an inexpensive practical solution. 

Additionally, having the same mechanic allows you to budget how much you will need for repairs, he can recommend what can wait and what can’t and therefore save you a buck! 

What are some of the ways you are driving on a budget this “Njaaaanuary”? 

 

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