We all know that a car is a very important and useful resource for traveling, but owning it comes with its fair share of personal expenses. However, there are many ways in which you can save on these expenses. Similar to all other personal finances, the more cost-saving measures you implement, the more money you’ll save.

There is no denying that cars can be a serious drain on our pockets, so here are some of the best ways to start saving money on your car expenses.

Saving Money While Buying

New car purchases are some of the largest single transactions and most people do it on their own. Unfortunately, there also a few deals which are not often made in the buyer’s best interest. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the car you want to buy, check out these opportunities to save some money on the purchase:

  • The cost of new cars rises every year, but they depreciate quickly and when you trade your car frequently you may lose money on low trade-in values. So, buy a car from a trusted and reputed brand and try to keep it for a longer time frame instead of trading it every few years.
  • Considering the impact that various options have on fuel economy, you can opt for smaller models, as they’re more affordable. As they are lighter, over a period of time they tend to get better gasoline mileage.
  • Some dealers hard sell the credit life or credit disability insurance through your car dealings, so it’s better to avoid buying this coverage. Thus, it’s essential for you to consider regular life and disability insurance through your employer or an individual policy.
  • Be very cautious while purchasing service contracts or extended warranties on new automobiles through your dealer. They cost much more than the policies that are purchased directly from providers and many of them have very limited coverage.

Saving Money On Car Insurance

Besides owning a car, its insurance can be a major expense, particularly if you have a less driving experience and haven’t taken out any vehicle insurance before. Here are some ways you can try to save money on those insurance premiums:

  • You must notify your insurance company of all the safety features that can qualify you for discounts on automobile insurance, such as automatic seat belts or airbags in your car. It will help you get additional discounts on the insurance.
  • You must know how much money you can save by raising the deductible amount on your auto collision insurance. Ask the insurance agent about this and you can save around10% to 30% in premiums. If you have a good driving record, you could probably come out ahead.
  • For an older car, try to avoid collision and comprehensive coverage because it is only required if you have a car loan. As old cars are owned free and clear, weigh its book value against your collision premiums. If your car is over five years old, keeping collision and comprehensive coverage may not be worth it.
  • Ask your insurance agent whether the model you are considering will require any surcharge due to higher theft, damage, or repair costs before buying a new car.
  • As many insurers give a discount for multiple policies, you can combine your auto and homeowner’s insurance under one policy.
  • Also, you can get a huge benefit if you have not had an accident or ticket for three years or more. Many companies provide a discount of up to 20% on insurance premiums.

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Saving Money On Maintenance

You have the cost of your monthly payment, auto insurance premiums, and gasoline to account for, after the initial purchase of your car. Now you will undoubtedly run into car maintenance expenses, but there certainly are money-saving opportunities for you to grab here, too:

  • Regardless of how often your owner’s manual recommends, consider changing the oil and filters in your car after driving it every 3,000 miles. Frequent oil changes are the single most important factor in extending the life of your engine and will save more on repairs and engine wear.
  • A poorly tuned car uses between 25%-33% more gasoline each year, so try to keep your car properly tuned. Keep it clean and if you travel a lot you can opt for paint protection films that can protect the new skin of your car and keep it away from stone chips and harmful UV rays.
  • Check your car’s air filter on a monthly basis. A dirty filter shortens the engine’s life and reduces gasoline mileage up to 10%. You can clean the filter by removing it and blowing it with an air hose or you can simply replace it.
  • Until your car is knocking and pinging, don’t try to use a higher octane gas. Most car premium gasoline offers no benefit and costs around 10% to 15% higher than usual. Unless your manufacturer recommends a high-octane gas and it has a high-performance engine try to use a less expensive gas.
  • For every pound of under-inflation, you can lose up to 6% in gasoline mileage, so you need to check your tire pressure regularly. Gasoline mileage can be increased by up to 10% per year by using steel-belted radial tires.
  • Improperly balanced tires can wear out your shock absorbers and damage your suspension system, leading to more expense. You can add thousands of miles to the life of your tires by having them balanced once a year.
  • Also check the coolant, automatic transmission fluid and, brake and clutch fluids regularly, as low fluid levels can shorten your battery’s life.

Saving Money While Travelling

There are certain costs associated with just getting from one location to another. Here are a few tips for saving some money while driving:

  • Extravagant driving habits can double your fuel consumption and might reduce the mileage of your car. But, there are few pointers that can Develop gas-saving habits, such as:
    1. Gentle acceleration
    2. Looking out for traffic ahead so that you can anticipate slow-downs and avoid stops.
    3.  Coping up with traffic jams by lifting your foot off the gas pedal instead of approaching at full speed and slamming on the brakes. Acceleration from a full stop needs 20% more gas to normal speed than it does from four or five miles per hour.
    4. Avoid driving too fast or too slow. It takes 20% to 30% more gas to drive at 70 mph than at 50 mph.
    5. Driving with a steady speed on the highway and avoid getting stuck behind slow cars where you have to slow down to their pace and then speed up to pass.
  • Idling wastes about a quart of gas every 15 minutes, so don’t warm your car up by letting it idle. The engine warms up faster when driving than it does when idling.

Saving Money On Gas And Driving

You can’t actually negotiate for better gas prices the way you can negotiate the purchase price of a car, but you can surely take steps to reduce your overall gas expenses. Many of your previous tips will save you money at the gas station, as they can make your car more fuel-efficient, but here are a few more things you can do:

  • Self-serve gas is usually 5% to 10% cheaper than full service, so try to pump your own gas.
  • Some of the gas may end up overflowing when it expands in the sun or if you park on a hill, so avoid filling the gas on the top of the tank.

While there are certain other things that affect your budget, especially when you are working, car caring is also acknowledged as one of the most cost affecting aspects. But, it is not as difficult as it seems to own and operate a vehicle. Being a car owner you just need to stick with these effective ways and they will help you kick-off expensive bills and making the ride smooth for years!

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  • Thank you for helping me to understand that I need to notify the insurance company what safety features my vehicle has so that I can get the proper discounts. At the beginning of the new year, my wife and I are planning one of our vehicles and then purchasing a mini-van. As far as I know, most mini-vans come with a lot of safety features so it seems like it would be a good idea for us to find an insurance company that can offer us a lot of discounts.

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