The ongoing costs tied to car ownership can quickly add up. Insurance, gas and repairs can easily throw you in the red if you don’t properly plan for them by saving money ahead of time. In this post, I am gong to walk you through some ways to cut your ongoing costs of owning a car so that you can keep more of your hard earned money. Let’s get started.
Obviously, when you are looking for a new ride, you want to make sure it is one that gets good gas mileage. But if you already have a car, it’s too late to look into that so you need to take another approach. Luckily, there are many ways you can cut your fuel costs. Here is a handful:
Drive Smarter: Don’t ‘gun it’ when starting from a red light. Ease onto the gas. The more you can start slowly, the better your fuel consumption will be. Additionally, plan ahead for red lights. If you brake hard you are wasting gas by not allowing your car to slow down naturally by coasting. The more smoothly you can be with the gas pedal, the less hit your wallet will take.
Slow Down: When you are out driving, don’t go so fast. By slowing down by just 5 miles per hour can greatly increase your mileage. And, it won’t effect the time it takes to get to where you are going if it is a short distance.
Limit Short Trips: You get the worst gas mileage when you take a small trip, like driving one mile to the grocery store. To get better gas mileage, try to combine trips. Or, walk or ride your bike.
Take A Load Off: Clean out your car and remove anything that weighs you down. The more weight you carry, the worse your gas mileage. So check out your trunk and take out anything you might be driving around with.
Search Out Low Price Gas:Take a few minutes and find where the lowest priced gas is in your area. Just make sure it is close by so it makes sense to use! I know of a station in my area that is always $0.10 cheaper than everyone else. Combined with my wife’s car, we save a few dollars every month by using this service station.
When it comes to insurance, you have to shop around. It is the only way to know if you are being overcharged for coverage. Just make sure when you are comparing prices that you are comparing like coverage.
Some insurers might quote you a lower price simply because they are offering less coverage. So take the time to make sure you are comparing the same thing.
From there, stay in contact with your agent. I email ours every few months to see if there are any new discounts we qualify for. The last time I did this we saved 12% by simply printing out our insurance cards as opposed to having them mailed to us!
In addition to the above, pay off the loan on your car if you have one. This will allow you more flexibility when it comes to the coverage you need to have. Lastly, if your car is older, say 10 years or more, you can drop collision coverage. Be sure to do the math, but many times the cost for collision is more than what the car is worth. This simply means that you are wasting money.
Once your car is out of warranty, it is best to find an independent service provider as the prices there will be much less. First, their labor charge will be much less. And second, many times they will use generic parts or used parts as opposed to the new, manufacturer parts. You would never know the difference and you will save a good amount of money.
Next, be sure to question repairs. Ask if you need to have the repair done now or if it can wait. If it can wait, will it cause other, bigger issues down the line? The more information you have, the better decision you can make as to getting the repair work done or not.
Additionally, you can do some repairs yourself. While it is getting more difficult to do things like change your own oil, you can still replace your own wiper blades. While this might not sound like much, it is. My wife was quoted at $100 to replace her wiper blades. I bought them online and installed them myself for the cost of the blades, $35.
Take the time to look at the costs related to your car and make an effort to keep them down. Just doing a few of these simple steps will save you a good deal of money on your car. This money can be used to beef up a savings account for buying your next car so that you won’t have to take out a loan, saving you even more money.