Even if you own a Prius, car repair and maintenance costs can go through the roof. Not to mention the daily fuel costs and monthly insurance costs.
Expect an even steeper figure, if you own a high-end car like a luxury SUV, for instance. Fortunately, there are tons of ways you can cut your car expenses; you just have to be smart about it.
You might think you’ve exhausted all the cost-cutting techniques, but you never truly know. Read through the piece and find out if that’s the case. If not, then at least you’ll have learned something new.
Foolproof Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses
Thanks to the internet and modern technology, there are tons of options when it comes to buying car parts and insurance. That means you can explore all the available options and settle for one that doesn’t dent your bank account. What’s more, there are also apps and other digital tools created to help you cut car expenses.
You’d be surprised just how much you can save, once you take steps to cut your car expenses. Regardless of what car you own, owning a car will always be expensive. So if you’re planning to get a car or already own one, here’s how you can cut your car expenses marginally:
Explore Your Insurance Options
Auto insurance for injury and liability is compulsory in most states in the US. So skipping out on car insurance, is not a viable way to cut your car expenses. Also, car insurance is pretty important because, well, you never know.
Now before getting your insurance, explore all your options to find the most cost-effective one. There’s a handy little tool called The Zebra, which is akin to an auto insurance search engine. With this app, you can compare insurance policies, see what each has to offer, and choose the best fit for you.
Go Slow on the Speeding
This point goes, especially to first-time car owners. The thrill of a new car tempts most drivers to overspeed to test what their new car can do. This is never a good idea because first, speeding is dangerous, and secondly, it’s also against the law.
First, you risk your lives and those of your passengers when you speed. In case of an accident, you’ll have to foot colossal medical bills, not to mention the vehicle repair costs.
What’s more, maintaining a steady speed is excellent for your car’s fuel economy. The constant accelerating and stopping uses 20%-30% more gas than when you maintain a constant speed. So for your personal safety and that of your bank account, avoid speeding at all costs.
Get a Used Car
If you’re planning to get your first car, then get a used car instead of a new one. Not only is a used car much cheaper, but it’s also much easier to maintain.
Before sellers sell their car, they ensure it’s in tip-top shape to fetch a good price. A used car is also more acclimatized to the local conditions. So it’s less likely to have issues because of terrain and other local conditions.
Also, consider that the moment you get a new car, its value decreases by a significant margin. Most people would even go as far as claiming that buying a new car is a waste of money. That’s because you can buy the same car at a marginally lower cost when it’s used.
Get a Good Mechanic
Good mechanics aren’t easy to come by. However, you don’t have to scour every garage looking for one. Your friends, family, and even workmates can refer you to their mechanic. Not all mechanics are good, and the average mechanic will hand you a bill not worth their work.
The right mechanic will also give you invaluable suggestions and advice on how to maintain your car properly.
Good mechanics know the right place to find the best parts at reasonable prices.
Your journey to finding a good mechanic will be long and costly. However, when you finally find one, you can reap all the benefits they offer, including lower repair costs and premium advice. So hang in there with your current mechanic, but always be on the lookout for a good mechanic if your current one isn’t up to snuff.
Explore All Options When Buying Parts
Car parts are very expensive, especially for high-end cars. Fortunately, there are many places where you can get spare parts for your vehicle. Some of these places, like Partsgeek, for instance, have unbelievable deals on these car parts.
That way, before you buy your car parts, ensure you’ve scoured the web for the best prices. However, be careful about online stores, because there are plenty of scammers posing as legitimate online companies. Make a point of checking out reviews and be on the lookout for any red flags.
There are plenty of ways you can save on driving expenses, but the best way is not driving at all. However, because you have places to go, not driving your car isn’t a viable option. However, you can consider carpooling if applicable to your situation.
Carpooling is a great way to save you from driving your car. Even if you do, you cut the driving costs by more than half. Carpool regularly, and you’ll have saved quite a lot in just a month.
You also reduce the chances of having an accident by quite a lot when you carpool. Your insurance knows this fact and will charge you a lesser premium.
Downsize to a Smaller Car
Most people drive gas guzzlers for the prestige of it. However, it can be a huge problem when your car costs so much to fuel. Downsizing to a smaller car can help you save thousands in fuel.
You probably hate doing so, but it’s in your best interest. If you need a car to handle rugged terrain, then you have a valid reason to have a gas guzzler. If not, get yourself a mid-sized sedan and save yourself a bundle in fuel costs.
You can trade-in your current car for a new smaller one. However, you’re better off selling it off and buying a new one with the cash from your sale.
Frequently Change Your Car’s Oil and Oil Filter
As a rule of thumb, change your car’s oil and oil filter after every 3,000 miles. In doing so, you extend the life of your engine, which will save you a lot in future repair costs. Even if your car manual says, you should change the oil after 5000 miles, just do it after 3000 to be safe.
Apart from the oil filter, try checking the air filter at least once a month. A dirty air filter also compromises your engine’s life span. You can use an electric blower to clean your car’s air filter adequately.
Use the GasBuddy App
The GasBuddy app is an innovative app that identifies the cheapest gas stations around your vicinity. That way, if you need to fill your gas tank, you can opt for the cheapest option. The app is available to download for both Android and iPhone.
The app has a fantastic reward feature called “gasback.”You can redeem these rewards by choosing to pay with Gasbuddy and get free gas.
Try Refinancing Your Car Loan
Your car loan could be the reason why your pockets are so shallow. If this is your case, then you should consider refinancing your loan. Loan refinancing means switching to another lender for your auto loan.
It’s a wise move since most people take out their first auto loan without doing much research. In doing so, they end up with auto loans with outrageous interest rates. If such is the case, then your only way out of this is by refinancing your loan.
By reducing your interest rate, you can potentially save hundreds to thousands of dollars throughout your loan period. However, ensure you have the means to pay off your loan entirely from whatever lender.
Owning a Car Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Your car doesn’t have to be a financial burden. With these few tips, you can lower your car expenses quite significantly and save up for an even better car. Remember, the internet is your best friend when it comes to cutting car costs.
Finding a good mechanic isn’t too easy, but asking your friend or co-worker could point you in the right direction. Lastly, only buy your car parts from verified suppliers. Be wary of the online scammers looking to sell you defunct parts or no parts at all.
You can always check out our other articles for more informative reads.