SIX WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR EXPENSES
If you don’t live in a large city where public transportation is reliable and affordable, having a vehicle is a must. It’s the only way you can get to work on time, and with buses that don’t go everywhere, it’s really the only way you can properly run errands.
Unfortunately, vehicles aren’t always priced for affordability. Not only do you have to purchase a vehicle, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, you have to fix your car, buy car insurance, and much more. It isn’t uncommon for owners to spend thousands of dollars on car-related expenses every year.
Don’t let your car be the reason why you have an empty bank account! There are many things you can do to save money on your ride.
Buy the Parts Yourself
Repairs can get expensive, but they’re important. Many repairs can make your vehicle safer to drive, so it’s important to make any repairs as soon as they come up.
The trouble is, repairs can get expensive fast. Many owners put off getting repairs because of their cost, but there are ways to make those repairs more affordable.
One of the best things you can do is purchase your own parts. For example, if you buy your own performance brake pads and bring them to your mechanic, you only have to pay for the labor, and you can avoid the markup on parts. Choosing your own parts also enables you to buy the exact part you want.
Just make sure you check with your mechanic. Some may not be willing to install parts that you purchase. If they are, they may be willing to provide you with advice on exactly what to look for when shopping for the right part.
Get More Than One Quote
No two garages are created equal. Some charge more for some repairs, while others charge more for other repairs. It’s worth your time to get multiple auto repair estimates.
Get at least two quotes, but getting three is even better. Look for repair shops that have good reviews online, and always ask for a written estimate before agreeing to have the work done. That way, you can avoid surprise charges and repairs that you didn’t authorize.
DIY What You Can
Everyone’s comfort level is different when it comes to their cars. Those who are mechanically inclined can save a lot of money doing car repairs themselves. From oil changes to replacing your tires, you can save huge by doing repairs yourself.
Even if you aren’t mechanically inclined, there are some easy car repairs you can do yourself! With just a few basic tools, you can make repairs on your vehicle that include:
- Swap out your battery
- Replace a headlight or taillight
- Replace your windshield wipers
- Swap out your air filter
- Change your spark plugs
If it’s something you’ve never done before, go online! There are many wonderful instructional videos that can teach you exactly how to make even complex repairs.
Don’t forget about washing your car! Paying someone else to do it is convenient, but it gets expensive fast. You can save a lot of money by washing your car in your driveway instead.
Pay Attention to Your Insurance
You are legally required to have insurance on your car. That means it’s an expense you can’t avoid. However, there are many ways you can reduce the cost of your car insurance.
It starts by comparing different car insurance rates. There are a lot of car insurance companies out there, and they all claim to have the lowest prices. It really does depend on the type of car you have and the kind of insurance you want.
It also includes doing things like:
- Bundle your car insurance with homeowners insurance.
- Pay premiums annually or every six months instead of monthly.
- Ask about discounts for membership in certain groups, like AAA.
- Always pay your bills on time.
- Consider dropping comprehensive collision coverage.
Banish Your Lead Foot
Gas is a huge expense. You can shop around to find the lowest prices at gas stations near you, but your behavior in the car can have a huge effect on how much you spend on gas.
The biggest effect you can have on your gas is how you drive your car. If you regularly slam on the acceleration, you’re letting gas go to waste. If you have a lead foot, you could be spending as much 30 percent more on gas than if you went easy on the acceleration.
There are other ways you can save on gas too. Your speed can affect your gas mileage. You don’t always have a choice in how fast you drive, as you have to drive according to the speed limit, but if you can modify your speed a bit, try not to go faster than 50 miles an hour. Every mile you drive over that speed will cost you more in gas.
How heavy is your vehicle? If you’re lugging around extra stuff in your trunk, you should remove it to save on gas.
You don’t have to live in perpetual poverty because the cost of owning and maintaining your car is so expensive. Save a few bucks here and there and you’ll be surprised at just how much you can save on car ownership!