Probably the biggest expense you can have next to buying a home is buying a car. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there, as owning and maintaining a car comes with even more costs. In fact, it’s probably the second largest expense in every household next to food.
Many car owners do not realise that many of the factors that rack up car expenses are staring them in the face, and they are ridiculously easy to change. Here are a few, simple tips so that having a car won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Save on Mileage
- Drive safely – aggressive driving behaviours such as rapid acceleration, hard braking, and speeding not only put your safety at stake, but they can lower your mileage and waste your gas very quickly.
- Set your cruise control at 50 mph.
- Try to go without air conditioning or at least set it to a higher temperature.
- Turn the engine off when you’re parked.
- Drive your car slowly for 30 seconds after starting it.
- Use the correct oil for your engine. Using an oil other that what’s recommended can increase friction in the engine and lower your mileage.
- Keep tires inflated and make sure not to go by the maximum pressure level. Make sure they are aligned.
- Avoid driving while carrying too much junk.
Save on Gas
- Use apps to find the cheapest gas in your area. However, make sure to use common sense and do not go out of your way to gas up. Most of the time, gas prices are higher in stations located at the highway.
- Sign up for cash back credit cards or store cards.
- Manage your errands instead of driving around all the time.
- Consider carpooling.
Save on Insurance
- Bundle your policies – there’s a good chance that you can save a lot if you insure your car with your home.
- Cut coverage for vehicles more than 10 years old, as the cost of repairs may be more than the car’s actual value.
- Ask for a mileage discount if you don’t drive often.
- Wait it out before allowing your teenager to drive. The younger your child is, the higher your premiums will rise once they’re added under your policy.
- Keep your credit score in check. Your credit score is factored when shopping for auto insurance, even if you’re a long-time driver.
- Avoid too much claims. Each time you have an accident and file a claim, your insurance premiums may rise up to 41% if you are at fault, so let minor collisions go.
- Shop around. Looking for a new insurer can give you significant savings, especially if you are a careful driver with impressive credit rating. Many companies will compete to have you as their client.
Save on Repairs and Maintenance
Switch your front and rear tires so that both of them would wear evenly, avoiding premature replacement. Replace your air filters at least every 30,000 miles to save on fuel and prevent dirt from coming into your engine. Again, avoid slamming on your brakes. You can also save more by changing your brake pads whenever possible.Consider DIY repairs. There are a lot of video tutorials online that can guide you. Many of these maintenance tasks are fairly easy.
Instead of going to a carwash, do it yourself. Most of us have a lot of driving habits that contribute to wasting money on car maintenance. By following these surprisingly easy tips, your car can go a long way.