Vehicles are expensive, and not just when purchasing them. They require regular fuel, maintenance, and insurance too, but chances are good you can find room for some savings. Here are ten easy ways you can save money as a car owner.
1. Buy a Used Car
The best way to minimize the up-front cost of car ownership is to purchase a used vehicle. Rather than financing a car that you can’t afford, find a used vehicle you can purchase outright. Even if you still need an auto loan for a used car, you can keep your monthly payments lower.
2. Shop Around on Car Insurance
Find the best car insurance rates by shopping around. See if you’re a member of any organizations that offer discounts on insurance policies, or if you’re eligible, look into staying on your parents’ plan.
3. Use a Fuel Price Comparison App
Save money at the gas pump by using a fuel comparison and locator app like GasBuddy. This app shows you current pricing at nearby stations so you always get the best deal.
4. Schedule Regular Service
One of the biggest expenses for car owners is an emergency repair. Avoid letting small problems turn into big expensive ones by visiting your local service department or collision center for routine maintenance and yearly inspections.
5. Change Your Driving Habits
Did you know the way you drive can affect your car’s fuel usage? If you’re the type who drives on the aggressive side, or too slowly, you’re wasting fuel and costing yourself more money.
6. Cut Your Collision Coverage
If you drive an older car, it might not be worth paying extra for collision coverage anymore. Consider cutting it from your insurance policy to save money each year.
7. Wash Your Car Yourself
Visiting the local car wash can be expensive. If you can, wash your car at home instead. Not only will you save money, but you’ll often do a better job than an automated wash.
8. Stop Wasting Fuel
You can save even more money on fuel costs if you avoid letting your engine idle and carefully plan trips. For example, plan out your errands route in advance and do your shopping on the drive home from work, rather than making a special trip on the weekend.
9. Refinance Your Auto Loan
Is your car loan interest too high? Has your credit improved since you applied for your initial loan? Consider refinancing to see if you can get a lower rate.
10. Learn to Do Minor Maintenance Yourself
You can save on basic maintenance by learning how to do certain things yourself. Learn how to check your tire pressure and fluid levels, as well as how to change your tires and oil at home. Fewer visits to the shop mean more money in your pocket.
Even the little changes you make can add up to big savings over time if you’re a car owner. How have you saved money on vehicle ownership in the past?