Ways to Save Money on Running Your Car
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that vehicle expenses, including ownership and operation, constitute the second biggest percentage of household budget. For most consumers, vehicle purchase is the second biggest acquisition after a home.
However, even after you drive out of the dealership lot, the costs continue. Left unchecked, vehicle ownership and upkeep can easily put you into debt. For that reason, it is important that you learn how to save money on your car.
Fortunately, there are various tips that you can follow to save thousands of dollars. The tips fall into three main categories: fuel, insurance, and upkeep (repairs and maintenance).
Save money on fuel costs
You can use various ways to save money on your car’s fuel cost:
Proper tyre inflation
With proper pressure in the tyres, you can perk up gas mileage by a big margin. Experts suggest that you don’t follow the maximum pressure label on the tire’s wall. Instead, check on the door jamb or glove box on the driver’s side to find the correct pressure level for your car’s tires. Alternatively, you can find it on the owner’s manual.
Having the right tyre pressure comes with various benefits. Maximum inflation helps tyres wear out evenly and last longer. Secondly, below the maximum pressure, your car’s fuel efficiency decreases by 40%. It is advisable to invest in a pressure gauge to check your car’s pressure at least once a month.
One of the ways to save money on your car; driving sensibly can save you up to $477 a year on fuel costs. Instant braking, over speeding, and swift acceleration are some of the ways through which you can waste fuel. Experts suggest that engaging in aggressive driving can reduce fuel mileage by nearly 33% when you drive at highway speed.
Fortunately, it is possible to reduce this wastage by driving at 50 mph. For instance, once you cruise above the 50 mph-mark, your fuel mileage decreases. It is wise to accelerate and brake slowly, as doing that increases fuel efficiency by up to 25%.
In addition, avoid peak hours, which can make you sit in traffic and waste fuel. Leave work or home earlier or later when the traffic tide ebbs.
Use the right engine oil
Another strategy on how to save money on your car is to use only what the manufacturer recommends. For instance, using other motor oils apart from what the manufacturer recommends can reduce your mileage by up to 2%. This happens due to increased friction on the engine caused by the oil.
Save money on insurance costs
Insurance is a part of your car’s expenses. Regarding this aspect, learn how to save money on your car with these strategies:
Consult different providers
Chances are that you will get different quotes from different providers. Compare the quotes and analyse what each provider has to offer, if it meets your requirements. Remember to read the fine print, just to be aware of their terms and conditions. Experts suggest that by consulting different providers, you can save big on insurance costs.
Get quotes from companies with good reputation. You can verify reputation by visiting the Better Business Bureau website. Once you zero in on a reliable company, you can realise the variation in quotes, and save thousands of dollars annually.
Remove coverage on old cars
When your car hits ten or more years on the road, the cost of repairing it might be more than its value. Take the premium and multiply by ten. If the value of the car is less than the product, then collision repairs might be more than the value.
In that situation, you can ditch the collision coverage and focus on property damage or injury policies. Experts believe that this could save you up to $440 on insurance costs annually.
On the other hand, you should consider insuring your car and home with a single provider. This could reduce your rates by up to 10% annually, according to market analysts in the automotive market.
Know the right time to claim
Sometimes, filing a claim can cost you more. For example, if you file a claim and are found at fault. For minor collisions, you should do a quick cost-benefit analysis.
If the compensation is higher than the premium after the raise, then you may consider paying out of pocket. In the end, skipping to report small accidents can save you up to $451 on insurance costs annually.
Save money on repairs and maintenance
Considering how to save money on your car, you can follow these tips when it comes to repairs and maintenance.
Know your car
When you know your car, you can be aware of its needs at any time. Therefore, make time for the owner’s manual. You can learn what and when your car needs anything.
When you take in your car for service at a dealership, they can give you additional long list of items to do on your car, which may not be important at the time. Items such as draining or replacing transmission fluid may only require you to pay more, yet may not be important for your car at that time.
In the end, knowing your car better could save you expenses on repairs by a big margin. More importantly, you should take your car for a regular service. Oil changes and replacing air filters can improve your car’s efficiency. The same is true with moving parts, which are prone to wear and tear. Done early, you can save much more in the long run.
Finally, ensure that you drive a clean car, both inside and outside. This protects the paint and the interior components such as upholstery. A clean car is attractive, fetches a higher price, getting a better return on your investment.
Follow these tips on how to save money on your car. Apply them and you can minimize expenses on car fuel, insurance, and maintenance.