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6 Ways to Save Money on Car Expenses

6 Ways to Save Money on Car Expenses - An image of a person fueling up a car.

At GoAuto Insurance, we understand that finding ways to create more room in your budget is important. That’s why we work hard to help cut costs and save you money on car insurance.

With unprecedented jumps in inflation over the past few years, more families are becoming strapped for cash across the United States. The rising cost of goods makes it even more difficult to stretch budgets to cover bills and living expenses.

According to a report from USA Today, “Cars are the most expensive thing owned by most Americans who don’t own their homes and the second-most expensive thing for those who do.” While cars are expensive commodities, there are a few tactics you can use to help save money on car expenses to make more room in your budget for other priorities.

1) Find Ways to Save on Gas

The average American driver spends about $1,500 a year on gas. However, the amount spent on fuel varies greatly depending on the vehicle and the driver’s habits.

The easiest way to save money on gas is to own a car that has good fuel economy. Smaller cars and specific models are designed to use fuel more efficiently and have much smaller tank sizes, leading to a much lower price point at the pump.

For anyone who doesn’t have the option of buying a car with good fuel economy, there are other ways to save money on fuel costs.

To start, make sure you always shop around for the cheapest gas in your area. It may seem like a few cents for each gallon isn’t a big difference, but small savings at the pump can add up over a few months. Also, stick to regular fuel as long as it is recommended for your car.

One way people don’t think about saving gas is to drive more carefully – don’t speed or drive aggressively. Most cars reach their optimal gas mileage at about 50 miles per hour and pushing your car over this speed uses more gas. Not only does not speeding help save money on gas costs in the long run, it also helps you save money on any potential tickets. Driving aggressively has a similar effect on your gas tank. Studies have found that slamming your breaks and aggressively using your gas pedal use more fuel than driving cautiously.

Another uncommon way to save gas is to avoid carrying extra weight in your vehicle. Many people use their vehicles as extensions of their homes to store everything from boxes of clothes meant for charity to textbooks. Carrying unneeded weight in your car can negatively impact your fuel efficiency.

Although it’s much more common in the South, overusing your air conditioning can also harm fuel economy. However, you should always use it enough to make your car comfortable to drive in and not get overheated.

Lastly, avoid idling in your car. This burns up fuel more quickly than necessary and is hard on your engine.

2) Understand & Follow Your Car’s Maintenance Needs

Although it’s exhaustive, read and follow your car’s manual for all maintenance needs. There may be things your dealership or mechanic recommend you do for your car that are unnecessary. By understanding your car’s manual, you’ll know how often you should be changing your car’s oil, rotating the tires, changing the filter, and more.

With that being said, make sure your car is well-maintained following the guides in its manual. You should get regular oil changes, perform routine maintenance, and always get your vehicle inspected. Staying on top of your car’s scheduled maintenance can help you save money in the long run on potential unexpected repairs.

You should also make sure you are buying the right tires for your vehicle. This can help increase fuel economy as well as decrease the risk of issues on the road due to excessive tire wear. This information can also be found in your car’s manual.

3) Perform Your Own Car Maintenance

There are many basic car maintenance tasks you can perform yourself. Instead of relying on a shop to perform maintenance for you, figure out if you’re able to buy the tools you need to accomplish tasks at home. Common car maintenance tasks you can do yourself include checking and topping off your car’s fluids, replacing the air filter, checking and adding air to your tires, replacing your windshield wipers, and even changing your oil.

There are countless resources online that can help you learn how to complete basic car maintenance at home.

4) Shop Around for Repairs

Even if your car is well-maintained, the need to have repairs or routine maintenance completed will eventually arise. Just like with any service, make sure you shop around to get the best price.

Dealerships are often more expensive to have service done, whether routine maintenance or necessary repairs are needed. Try to source local, trusted mechanics to assess what needs to be done and give you a quote before completing the service.

You can also research common repair costs beforehand to be more informed before sourcing your options.

5) Think Smart When Buying Your Next Car

Depreciation can cost car owners a lot in decreased value over time. Everyone has heard the saying that a car’s value depreciates 25% as soon as you drive it off the lot. When you are planning to buy your next car, think about buying a less expensive model. The less the car costs initially, the less it will depreciate over time. You should also buy the type of car you actually need, which may not be the car you ultimately want. Think about your driving habits and what you need from a vehicle to consider your best options.

Buying a car that depreciates less helps you retain resale value over time. Experts recommend buying a car that is 1 to 2 years old that has just finished a lease. After this amount of time, the car has already depreciated somewhat in value. Professionals also recommend keeping a car for 5-7 years to cash in on the best trade-in values.

On top of finding the right car to buy, shop around when considering your financing options. You can often find a better deal financing your car outside of the dealer’s financing plans. Check for the best rate you can get between the manufacturer, your bank, or a credit union.

You can also look into refinancing existing car loans. Just like your home loan, if your credit score has improved or your rates have lowered, you could decrease your payments significantly. Just call to ask your loan provider.

6) Choose the Right Car Insurance

Car insurance companies are very competitive and insurance prices can vary depending on the type of car you drive and your driving history. Shop around for the lowest car insurance rate in your area by getting quotes from multiple companies and checking for discounts.

GoAuto Insurance is proud to be one of the cheapest options for car insurance available to our customers. Our non-commissioned agents are happy to walk you through your policy options to help you find a price that fits your budget. We only sell car insurance, so we don’t try to convince you to buy expensive add-ons or policy features you don’t need. Call us to get a quote today at 833-700-0000.

For low cost car insurance