Owning a vehicle is expensive when you factor in routine maintenance, insurance premiums, and repairs. Yet, it is often a necessary expense in order to have a source of reliable transportation. These tips will help you cut some of the everyday costs of car ownership.
1. Regularly Monitor Your Tires
Not only is driving around on under-inflated tires dangerous, but it can also cost you a lot of money. Tires that are not inflated properly use more fuel, resulting in higher gas costs. Additionally, the longer that you drive around on under-inflated tires, the more damage that you are causing to them. It is likely that you will have to replace your tires much sooner than if you were to keep them appropriately filled. Checking your tires means inspecting the tire pressure, alignment, rotation, and tread.
2. Compare Car Insurance Rates
There are many factors that go into calculating your car insurance rate. The insurance company considers the age of the driver, the driver’s residence, the driving record, and the year and make of the car insured. Many insurance companies offer discounts when factors change that reduce the driver’s liability. Adding a driver to the policy, securing the car with an alarm system, and a longer period of time between traffic violations can all result in a decrease in insurance rates. Make sure you are comparing insurance rates each year before signing on to a new policy.
3. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Fueling up is a necessary part of owning a vehicle. Without gas, you won’t make it very far. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to compare gas prices locally. Download an app that lets you view current gas prices nearby. Staying updated on gas prices and always getting the best price can help you fill up at a cheaper price. This can result in significant cost savings over a long period.
4. Subscribe to a Roadside Service
Experiencing even one mechanical problem can cost you thousands of dollars after you factor in towing services and repairs. Subscribing to a roadside service can protect you from the high costs of roadside assistance. Another advantage to these roadside service memberships is that they can also save you money on your auto insurance premium and in most cases, using the service just once per year pays back the initial membership fee.
5. Preventative Maintenance
Although you cannot completely prevent mechanical problems from occurring, you can reduce the likeliness of them by keeping up with important preventative maintenance tasks. Always follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and keep up with warranty visits. Schedule routine oil changes, change your car’s filters and routinely inspect other engine and transmission fluids. Routine preventative maintenance is essential and it can end up saving you thousands in repairs or roadside service needs.
There are many costs associated with owning a vehicle. While it’s not possible to get rid of your vehicle and avoid these costs altogether, these savvy tips will help you cut some of the most common car ownership costs.
This photo, “money,” by Hamza Butt used under CC BY 2.0. “money” is licensed under CC BY 2.0 by Huffines Chrysler Dodge Jeep Plano.