How can I save money on my car? – you may ask. Well, as you know it can be expensive at best and at worst it can drain your savings and have you considering a loan to cover the cost. The good news is that there are tons of things you can do to limit those expenses and hopefully keep your savings intact.
- Cars are one of the largest expenses for most people
- You can save money by how you purchase your car
- Car insurance costs vary hugely so shopping around can save a lot
- Annual tune-ups can be costly but will pay for themselves in savings
Let’s face it, the more money you save on your car expenses the more you have available for paying bills, emergency expenses, and hopefully fun stuff, like vacations!
As with all personal finance, the more cost-saving measures you adopt now, the more money you’ll save. While potential savings will vary widely depending on your personal situation, here are some of the best places to start saving money on your car expenses.
Ways to Save Money On Your Car
Research The Car You Want
Do your research about the car you want. Make sure it makes sense for you. Investigate the annual costs for gas, tune-ups, and taxes. Factor in these costs when you’re deciding how much you can spend on a car.
Buy a Previously Owned Car
As soon as you drive off the lot your car begins to depreciate. Its value decreases between 20% – 30% after one year. So, consider a used car that’s already had that major depreciation. While you may be tempted to get a bargain on Facebook or some other site, make sure you buy one that is affiliated with and guaranteed by a dealer so you’re not left in the lurch if that car has a problem.
Hang On To Your Car For a Few More Years
Trading in your car regularly can cost you. Choose wisely and that car will last you and save bucks.
Smaller Cars Can Save You Money
If you’re buying new, going with a smaller car can be less expensive. You save not only in its cost but its gas consumption and often insurance is less expensive too.
Go For Low Gas Consumption
Now more than ever cars with good fuel economies are a smart pick. Not only for your savings but for resale.
Pick a Car that Suits Your Needs
If you’re commuting in a city with lots of traffic lights so you’re constantly stopping and starting, manual transmissions are more fuel efficient. In fact, they get 5 mpg more than automatics
Avoid Car Dealership Add-On Insurance
Sometimes they do the hard sale on insurance you don’t actually need or can get somewhere else for much less. The problem is that if you’re financing the car and lump in the insurance with it then you’re paying interest on your insurance. Get your life and/or disability insurance from a broker or your place of work.
Don’t Go For the Extra Warranty, etc
Again these policies cost a lot more through the dealer, especially when rolled into your financing.
Shop Around for Financing to Save Money
If you decide to find financing elsewhere, make sure you get the best deal possible. Check out a lending broker like Funding Zest that does the heavy lifting for you. Use our online application and get an instant onscreen decision. We’ll find the lender most likely to extend a loan with the best rates for your situation. You could have the money you need in the bank the same day. Even if you’re self-employed you can get a loan… Read How Do I Get A Loan If I’m Self-Employed?
Check your credit score first to see where you stand. A good credit score will save you money in interest with better interest rates and terms.
Use Your Bike Instead!
Read Cycle to Save Money, Health, Your World!
Car Maintenance Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Get the Regularly Recommended Servicing
A properly tuned car helps you save on gas, enough to more than cover the cost of the tune-up. If you don’t stay on top of the items listed below you have the potential of losing 1 mile per gallon. That will add up!
- Oil changes
- Filter changes
- Tire alignment
- Tire pressure checks
Don’t Waste Money On Gas
Your owner’s manual will tell you the type of gas to buy. Getting a higher octane won’t improve performance and will only cost you more.
Checking Your Levels Can Save You Money
Check these regularly to keep you engine running smoothly to get the best mileage and help your car last longer.
- battery water
- brake fluid
- automatic transmission fluid
- clutch fluid (if applicable
How to Get More Car Owner Savings
Topping Off Your Tank Isn’t so Great
You can accidentally overfill your tank. Also, cars are heavier with a full tank so it takes more gas for your car to stop and start or get up that big hill!
Get Where You Want to Go While Saving Money
Driving expenses don’t need to break the bank. Try these tips:
- Ride Share
- Take Public Transport
- Accelerate slowly
- Anticipate stops and slow down by taking your foot off the gas pedal not slamming on your brakes.
- Warm Up Your Car as You Drive
Driving will warm up your car much more quickly than idling and you’re using the gas to get somewhere not just sit in the drive.
Save Money On Your Car When Buying Car Insurance
Ask for a Larger Deductible –
A larger deductible means smaller payments.
Take Advantage of Your Good Driving Record –
If you have a good driving record, are a non-drinker and non-smoker you can get a break on insurance. Also, see if having your home insurance with the same company gets you a break – ask for ‘bundle insurance’.
Before you buy that car, see how much insurance will cost you. That could help make your decision. Crazy expensive car insurance could point you toward a different less insurance-heavy car.
Shop Around for Insurance Every Year
Don’t assume that since you’ve been with an insurance company for several years that they’ll give you the best rate. Sometimes moving to a new company can help you save.
If you’ve looking for a new or previously owned care read What 9 Mistakes Should I Avoid When I Buy My Car?
You have the power to save on your car expenses. All of the above tips can add up to thousands of dollars in savings. These savings could be enough to help you avoid taking out a loan for an emergency, your wedding or a vacation!