Other than a house, a car is most American family’s biggest expenditure. Upkeep, insurance, and gas can all start to add up significantly. At a time when many families are trying to keep their overall costs down, the rising insurance and oil prices sure don’t help. But all is not lost; there are plenty of tips and tricks to keep the cost of running your vehicle down. None of them make great savings alone, but when tried together they can make a significant difference.
Get it serviced regularly
When something goes wrong with your car, it can be a costly problem. New tires, electronics, or brake pads will set you back a pretty penny. When you get your car checked by a mechanic regularly, these problems can be spotted before they become a danger. You’d much sooner pay out for new electronics before an accident happens, right?
Treat the brakes nicely
Slamming the breaks on can cause costly damage to the system – some people need to replace their brake pads upwards of three times a year, just because they can’t be bothered to slow down gently. When you start coming to a stop, easy onto the brakes gently so the pads don’t erode, and you don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars to replace them over the course of your car’s lifetime.
Shop around for insurance
Insurance can be expensive, especially if you’ve claimed on it recently, and doubly especially if you have your kid insured on the car with you. Shopping around using a price comparison website for the cheapest car insurance quote is a great way to get a good deal, and amazingly, most American’s don’t bother before they renew their insurance, meaning most are overpaying. Taking your kid off your insurance will guarantee you a saving, but if that isn’t an option, make sure you talk up their grades and good behavior to the insurance company – they’ll cut the cost if they think your kid is a sensible driver.
Driving sensibly is one of the best ways to save money on your car. Not only does it save on the cost of fuel, but it keeps the likelihood of accidents to a minimum, meaning you’re less likely to have to fork out for expensive premiums. Keeping the cost of gas low is a great way to cut costs. Try to avoid idling with the engine on, keep your tires properly inflated, cruise at 50mph, and try to keep the air conditioning turned off if you can, and you could see a huge drop in the price you spend on fuel.
Wash it yourself (or have your kids do it)
How many people pay to take their car through a carwash? It’s a vastly unnecessary expenditure – all you need is some car shampoo, a bucket, a hose and a sponge, and you can do it at home for a fraction of the price. Or you can encourage your little ones to do it for some pocket money.
Saving money on your car is about making a few small, smart changes, and seeing the difference it makes to your fuel and maintenance bill, and even your car insurance.