If you are like most folks today, your vehicle eats up a significant portion of your income. In addition to the expense of purchasing your car, the maintenance costs can grow each year. Fortunately, there are several ways that frugal individuals can shave some of the burden from their vehicle-related expenses.
Implement these 10 ideas to start saving today:
1. Don’t Trade It In
Resist trading in newer model vehicles. Although you might be tired of your car after a couple of years, wait at least five before trading it in. Depending on the make and model, you might wait seven or more before needing a new one.
2. Buy What You Need
Purchase the most economical car to suit your needs. Prepare before going to the dealership. Know what you need and do not allow the salesperson to sway you into making an impulsive buy based on vanity.
3. Avoid Unnecessary Extras
Avoid extras associated with the vehicle purchase. When buying a new car, there are a host of unnecessary extras offered to you. From credit life and disability insurance to extended warranties and contracts, the cost of these are often outrageous compared to the potential return. Be careful!
4. Change The Air Filter
Change the air filter each month. At the very least, clean it. Dirty filters make the engine work harder, thus using more fuel and money.
5. Change The Oil Filter
Don’t forget about the oil filter. While every 3,000 miles was once standard, consult your vehicle owner’s manual for the specs.
6. Limit AC Usage
When you first get in your car on a hot day, roll down the windows for a bit to let the heat escape and then set the AC on low.
7. Take Care Of Your Tires
Your tires are one of the most important factors in your gas mileage. Oversized tires can decrease fuel efficiency. Every other week, check the tire pressure on all four tires. Annually, have them rotated and balanced.
8. Use A Rewards Credit Card
Use self-serve gas stations and a cash-back rewards card for payment.
9. Shop Around For Car Insurance
Obtain quotes from multiple providers and see if you qualify for any discounts. For instance, military, AARP members and those affiliated with other groups might receive a percentage off or cash back.
If you work at home, have two vehicles or other special circumstances, you might qualify for reduced rates as well.
10. Take A Class
Take a defensive driving course to learn good habits. The instruction will teach ways to reduce wear and tear on your vehicle among other important lessons.
For example, learning how to accelerate and decelerate properly can reduce the amount of gas you use and your braking needs. Some course certifications are recognized by insurance companies and will qualify you for premium reductions upon completion. Speak to your agent.
Owning and operating a vehicle is necessary for most people today. However, you do not have to resign yourself to the high prices associated with it. Use these tips to start saving money on your vehicle-related expenses starting now!