Thursday, August 4, 2016

8 Frugal Tips for Car Owners

Image source Dr Joseph Valks
This is a post by Nancy Evans. I don't have a car and have no plans on buying one any time soon, but since I know many of you do, hopefully these tips will help you save money with your car. Thank you Nancy- I know I learned some new things through this post!

The cost of being a car owner these days is enough to make anyone want to scream. From the time you take the car off the lot until it has “run its course,” car ownership could easily cost you thousands of dollars each year. However, because having your own means of transportation is a lot more convenient that having to rely on someone else or find public transportation, we opt to incur the costs. Rather than break the bank by being a car owner, try these frugal tips and watch the savings add up.

1.  Shop Around for Insurance Prices

There are literally hundreds of insurance providers across the country ready to provide coverage to qualified drivers. The problem is, consumers often select the one they hear about most or have seen in advertisements. Instead of going with the most popular choice, it is ideal that you shop around. Even if you have a poor driving record and have to obtain an SR22 document, comparing prices can help you to find auto insurance SR22 quotes that will save you money.

2.  Download a Gas App

The cost of gas is constantly fluctuating. While we often visit gas stations nearest our homes or jobs, there is usually cheaper gas just a few blocks away. To save on the cost of gas, all you have to do is download an application to your phone. There are applications that will notify you of the cheapest gas prices in the area. While a few cents per gallon might not seem like a lot, it can add up over the course of a year.

3.  Keep Up with Maintenance

When you don’t have the cash readily available it can be easy to just push off the need to have your fluids, filters, or tires changed. The truth of the matter is that fluids, engine oil, and transmission fluid get filled with sludge and grime which cause the engine to run harder and eat up more gas. The same is true for dirty filters and uneven tires. However, by keeping up with the maintenance, you save on gas mileage and also prevent the need to have costly auto repairs in the future.

4.  DIY Maintenance

There are a lot of auto repairs and maintenance tasks that you can learn to complete yourself. From changing the oil and air filters in your car to installing brake pads and hoses, there are plenty of how-to videos and guides online that will show you step by step what to do. This can save you a ton of money on maintenance costs.

5.  Buy Your Own Parts

If you don’t want to risk trying to make your own maintenance and repairs, the next best thing to do as a car owner would be to purchase your own parts. This way, you’re only paying a mechanic for the cost of labor. Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the parts you purchase are for your car, and covered by insurance and/or warranties should something go wrong. It is best to ask your mechanic which location to purchase the parts from.

6.  Drive on the Highway

Stop and go traffic and city driving can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s condition and gas mileage. Start looking for ways to get to your destination that involve highway miles as it can prolong the lifespan of your vehicle.

7.  Follow the Rules of the Road

Speeding, improper lane switching, and poor driving can cost you big in the long run. Failing to follow the rules of the road essentially puts you at greater risk for getting involved in an accident which can cost you way more than if you just follow the rules. Not to mention, not following the rules will put you at risk for getting a traffic ticket which can add points to your driver’s license and increase your insurance costs.

8.  Find Another Means of Transportation

If the cost of owning a car is still too much to handle, you can park the car in the driveway and opt for another vehicle. Whether you invest in a motorcycle, bicycle, or use public transportation, there are plenty of ways to get from point a to point b that cost less.

If you follow the above advice you will without a doubt save a lot more money as a car owner. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of evaluating what’s costing you the most money and finding feasible ways to cut back. Of course, if this is still a financial burden you can consider carpooling to and from work/school to minimize the costs.

See my disclaimer.

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