7 Tips to Save Money On Car Expenses

7 Ways to Reduce Car Costs

The price of a car itself is only the beginning of your car expenses. Between gas costs, auto insurance and upkeep, owning a car can cost upwards of $10,000 per year for Americans4. However, by adjusting your habits, you can reduce car costs and use those hard-earned dollars somewhere else in your budget. Here are some ways you can lower the cost of car ownership.

1. Stay Under the Speed Limit

Did you know that being a more attentive driver can save you a lot of cash? Rapid acceleration and braking are not only unsafe, but they use up your gas faster. Next time you have the urge to speed, remember that every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an extra 18 cents per gallon of gas1.

2. Compare Gas Prices

Take an extra minute to look at the prices of nearby gas stations. Apps like GasBuddy and Waze will show prices at gas stations on your commute to help get you the best deal without going out of your way.

3. Don’t Skip on Vehicle Maintenance

Minor car repairs like rotating your tires and replacing your brake pads can seem like an inconvenience and an unnecessary cost, which is why many people hold off on routine car maintenance. But the truth is that regular maintenance can make your car last a lot longer. It won’t be cheap to replace your car or pay repair costs if it breaks down, so save yourself a major headache in the future by taking care of maintenance now.

4. Plan Your Route

When you need to drive somewhere, make the most of your miles. Combine trips by going to stores near each other and plan to run errands when you’re already out of the house. This will cut down on the amount of driving you do and save you money on gas over time.

5. Don’t Idle

If you’ve ever heard that restarting your car burns more fuel than idling for a few minutes, consider that myth busted.2 In fact, turning off your car and restarting it wastes less fuel than letting it idle for 10 seconds or more. Next time you’re waiting for someone, switch off your engine. It will lower your long-term vehicle expenses by saving you gas and protecting your car’s engine and battery.

6. Keep Your Tires Inflated

When your tire pressure is too low or too high, driving becomes more dangerous. Your tires wear down quicker, your car wastes more gas and you’re at a higher risk of a blowout. Get more life out of your tires and put some gas money back in your pocket by checking your tire pressure once a month. All you need is a tire pressure gauge, which you can buy for as little as $5.

7. Compare Insurance Quotes

Shopping around for car insurance quotes won’t take you long, but it can save you a lot of money. Besides the price, you’ll want to consider the insurance company’s reputation and the services they offer3. Choosing a higher deductible will also lower your premium3. Just be sure you can afford the deductible amount if you do have an accident.

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  1. https://afdc.energy.gov/conserve/behavior_techniques.html
  2. https://www.edf.org/attention-drivers-turn-your-idling-engines
  3. https://www.iii.org/article/how-can-i-save-money-auto-insurance
  4. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/auto-loans/total-cost-owning-car