Save On Car Expenses

In today’s economy people are looking for more and more ways to trim
the budget and cut expenses. Unfortunately, the amount of money we
spend on our vehicle is quite high among our list of expenses. With
rising fuel costs causing us to hand over large bills and the
necessary routine maintenance required, car expenses can easily add up
to thousands of dollars. Vehicles also have a limited lifetime and
need to be replaced every so often. Despite the money involved, cars
are a necessity for most people. Here are a few ways you can cut down
on the cost of maintaining a vehicle.

Purchase a Car Within your Means

Larger vehicles are often much more then we need for our
transportation. Vehicles like SUVs and trucks burn lots of fuel and
can have high maintenance costs. When considering a vehicle to buy,
choose the smallest style car that will fit your needs. Consider how
many people you need to transport and the distance you commute.
Smaller cars are lighter, use less gas, and are easier to maintain.
Insurance for smaller compact cars is usually less than that of larger
models.

Look Closely at Warranties

When purchasing a car from a dealer, take a careful look at the
coverage of the warranty. Dealers will usually try to convince you to
purchase extended warranties or service coverage. While it may seem
like a good deal, they are often overpriced and cover a lot less then
the salesmen will lead you to believe.

Perform Regular Tune-ups

The price of a tune-up is small in comparison to the amount of gas
your car will use if poorly tuned. An engine that is not tuned will
cause a decrease in gas mileage. Even a small decline in gas mileage
can add up to a considerable expense.

Check Tire Pressure

While it may seem odd to routinely check your tire’s inflation level,
your tires are important to the efficiency of your car. Underinflated
tires can reduce gas mileage. Also poorly inflated tires wear much
faster and will need to be replaced sooner. New tires are expensive
and worth preserving as long as possible.

Combine Errands

Every little bit helps when cutting car expenses. Try to plan your
errands and accomplish as much as possible when going out. In the long
run, you will reduce the amount of gas used and save a few dollars.

Shop for Insurance

If you need car insurance, be sure to look around at several cheap auto
insurance companies for the best rate. If you have a good driving
record, then you might qualify for a better rate with a different company.
Also determine what kind of insurance you need. If your car is older,
then you can drop many different levels of coverage and stick with the
minimum amount.

Talk with your Insurance Company

Give your insurance provider as much information as possible regarding
the safety features. If you have airbags, automatic seatbelts, or a
car alarm system then you may qualify for discounts. Ask your insurer
how much you can save by raising your deductable. Often a small raise
will save you much more on your premium.

Carpool if Possible

Find a few workmates to go along with you on your commute. Splitting
the cost of fuel among each of you is a fantastic way to save money.
The amount each one gives will vary on the fluctuating gas prices.

Drive Conservatively

The rate of acceleration and braking have a big impact on the fuel you
use. Excessive or heavy braking causes a loss in efficiency. You car
uses a lot of gas to get it up to speed and is then wasted as you come
to an abrupt halt. Your engine uses extra gas when accelerating
rapidly. Try to slowly accelerate and anticipate slowdowns. You will
find your gas needle will not drop as fast.

The above was a guest post on behalf of Cheap Car Insurance.

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20 Responses

  1. krantcents says:

    Driving conservatively can save a lot! A friend taught me how to drive more economically by anticipating the traffic so I would break less. It improves the mpg and saves your brakes.

  2. I am surprised each summer at our steep decline in fuel economy. When the weather warms up so much that we run the A/C in our mini-van full blast, I average 300 miles before needing to re-fuel. We average around 350 miles per tank in the cooler months. The Odyssey does have two A/C systems, so I can understand the power drag, but that is a huge drop in performance.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      That is a drastic difference. It’s been a hot summer here, too. But then you have to make the call. Save 50 miles per tank or the cool comfort of your family. That reminds me, I need to catch up on posts on how to stay cool for less!

  3. You should always buy a car within your means! I just had this conversation with a girl at work who wanted to go buy a new BMW!

  4. After going from one car to two cars, I still strive to drive much less and combine errands not only for the economics but for the time savings…we have more time together when I combine errands.

  5. Untemplater says:

    It continues to amaze me how many people buy cars they can’t afford, esp brand new ones. I realize it’s difficult to not have a car in the suburbs where public transportation is limited yet there are still countless folks still think it’s ok to buy a brand new giant car when they are barely paying rent each month. Lucky for me public transit in SF is great so I’m still car free. -Sydney

    • Buck Inspire says:

      It’s all about priorities. Those folks rather look good than think about boring stuff like retirement. Sadly, they’ll be still working in their golden years if they keep up that lifestyle!

  6. Driving at 90 km/h (55mph) as opposed to 120 km/h (75mph) can make a big difference in gas consumption. I still sometimes go that fast or faster cause I like the feeling of speed…

  7. I do follow many of these. compilation is well put. I once heard a crazy gas saving tactic, on freeways, closely follow a tractor trailer on the same lane, your car won’t have any air drag to withstand, resulting almost negligible fuel consumption.

  8. FinEngr says:

    People laugh at me for planning out my errands. One friend was repairing his car and needed to pick up a few things.

    He literally made 4 separate trips and covered probably twice the distance because he didn’t combine his errands and plan it out!

    *Of course, for me, it was hilarious 🙂

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