News Car wash

Investor Marko Oolo advises on how to save on car costs

Rising fuel prices and other costs are a headache for many car owners. So how can you keep your car expenses under control? Investor and entrepreneur Marko Oolo gives his advice.

Photo: Tiit Blaat | Ekspress Media

Choose a car according to your needs
According to Oolo, choosing a car that matches your income and financial means is key. "Today, I drive around in a diesel car with a two-litre engine. If I had bought a three-litre petrol car at the same time, the car's monthly cost would be 30-40% higher."

According to Oolo, before buying a car, it would be a good idea to write down all the extra costs of a given vehicle in Excel and make a decision based on what makes financial sense for the wallet in the long run. "All car expenses could be less than 5% of your income. The newer and more powerful the car, the more expensive the fuel and maintenance." Similarly, while Oolo used to lease his cars, he says it now makes sense to buy the car to avoid taking out a loan for consumables.

Parking and car wash
As an investor in the car wash and parking app Snabb (formerly Barking), Oolo believes that it doesn't make sense to start pinching pennies when parking infrequently in the city, but planning your route and choosing a parking spot before you start your journey can pay off in terms of time and money. "When going into the city centre, I usually have a parking spot already picked out to reduce the headache of parking later."

Oolo says that the most significant financial win has been the use of self-service car wash. "Using the automatic car wash is like going on an expedition - the queues are 1-2 hours, and the overall system has been quite inconvenient." Among other alternatives, Oolo has also tried the transfer car wash, but each time the price of the wash tended to be around €45-80, which was too expensive for the wallet. "With a self-service car wash, I can be sure that the car will be cleaned properly, and the cost will be around €5-7."

Plan your visits
"The easiest way to save money is also to evaluate your trips and use alternatives where possible," says Oolo. As a father of two, he admits that it's not possible to do all the things you plan to do without a car. Still, when travelling alone, Oolo prefers to use a motorbike, a bicycle or sharing economy mobility devices such as Bolt's bikes and scooters, as well as public transport - for example, when travelling to Tartu. "A train or bus ride gives you nearly five hours of uninterrupted time to yourself."

Oolo has been writing down all his expenses in Excel for the past nine years, and it has helped him save significantly over the years. "Spreadsheets are the most powerful tool to control costs and avoid emotional purchases. However, not recording expenses has led to an immediate 20% increase in outgoings over the months," says Oolo, who explains how he plans his finances.

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