Any way you look at it, it isn’t cheap to drive these days. Between leasing or buying a car and paying for gas, it takes a big chunk of your hard-earned paycheck. Maintaining the vehicle to keep it running at optimal levels can also be costly. Finding cheap auto insurance will help cut overall car-attributed costs, as will using a cheap gas app and cruise control. Read on for further tips!
- Keep Your Car Around Longer
How do you get the most out of a purchase? You use it for as long as you possibly can before buying new. This is true for appliances, clothes, and of course, vehicles. Driving a new car is nice, but when you continually trade in your cars, you subsequently lose money each time. Make a commitment to keeping your car for 5-7 years and you could save $500 to $1000 every year.
- Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedule
There is a reason car manufacturers recommend various maintenance tasks for their cars. They know when various belts, hoses, and other components are expected to give out. Disregarding maintenance will put you at higher risk for issues with the car that will have a domino effect, creating more cost than you would have had to otherwise spend.
- Resist the Urge to “Top off The Tank”
Nobody likes standing at the gas station pumping gas into their car. And when you find a good price you want to fill up as much as you can. But, topping off the tank will usually be ineffective because when it gets heated by the sun; gas can overflow out of the tank, as it can when you park on the side of the hill.
When you carpool with coworkers you could save up to $500+ every year in fuel costs and regular wear and tear on your vehicle. While the savings vary depending on the length of the commute, the more people involved in the carpool the more each of you will save.
- Increase Your Deductible
You can save money each year by raising your insurance deductible. Call your insurance agent and ask about how much you could save by taking your deductible from $500 to $1,000, for example. In some instances, it could be between 10-30% of the premium you’re already spending. Just be sure you can lay your hands on that amount of money in the event you need to file a claim. Your insurance company won’t start paying their part until you’ve paid your deductible.
- Limit Fuel Consumption
You might think that the only way to save fuel is by not using it all! But there are other ways to limit your fuel consumption. Many of us have driving habits that lead to wasting fuel. Now is the time to change those bad habits and save yourself up to $400 a year.
- Avoid abrupt stops and starts – scan traffic ahead of you so you can anticipate when you need to slow down.
- Accelerate gently – don’t put the pedal to the metal.
- Approach traffic congestion by laying off the accelerator and coasting up to them instead of driving full speed and quickly applying the brakes.
- Slow down – you’ll use about 25% less gas going 50 mph as you will driving 70 mph.
- Maintain a steady speed – utilize cruise control if weather and traffic conditions are clear.
- Avoid Idling
When it’s cold outside it can be tempting to allow your car to idle after you first start it up. After all, who likes to get inside a cold car? Driving your car will actually warm it up more quickly than idling it will, and for every hour the car sits and idles, ¼ to ½ gallon of gas is wasted.
- Use a Cheap Gas App
Even though the difference between fueling up at a station that is offering $4.29 a gallon as opposed to $4.69 a gallon might not seem that impactful, over time your wallet will see the difference. The average size gas tank runs about 15 gallons, at a $.40 savings per gallon savings, that’s $6 for each fill up. If you are filling up your gas tank weekly, you’re looking at a savings of over $300 every year.
- DIY Your Own Car Maintenance
Many people are intimidated by the thought of performing their own car maintenance. Opening the hood and looking into the engine can seem like a maze of belts and hoses that make no sense whatsoever. However, if you take the time to research using YouTube or the vehicle’s manual you can save money by topping off various fluids, replacing the air filter, checking and filling tires, and even changing the oil if you are so inclined.
- Find a Trusted Mechanic
There is a reason there are so many places to take your vehicle to get repaired. Car repair brings in good money! Dealerships are notoriously more expensive than smaller, local mechanics. Ask around and find a mechanic you trust so you can feel confident you are saving money when repairs do need to be made.