Unless they live in an area that is well served by public transportation, most people find it necessary to own a vehicle. Owning a car allows you the freedom to get to and from the places that you need to go without worrying much about it. While this can be very convenient, it comes with a price. Owning and driving a car can be a large (and very expensive) part of your budget.
Some cars can be real money pits. If you happen to be a person who really loves cars or a person who does not take care of their car, the amount of money you spend can be even worse. If you own a car or are thinking about purchasing a car, here are 10 tips on how to save money on driving during the new year.
1. Get Regular Tune Ups
Paying for a regular tune up for your vehicle is going to be a lot less than having to pay for the engine to be repaired. A regularly scheduled visit to a mechanic can typically help you catch any problems with the vehicle before they become extremely expensive. Make sure to get your oil changed in your vehicle every three months or so and to have the entire vehicle checked out at least twice a year. This can greatly reduce the costs of repairs.
2. Rotate Your Tires
Most vehicles should have the tires rotated at least once each year. Taking the time to have your tires rotated can help spread out the wear and tear on each of the tires. In addition, it will help to balance out the suspension of the vehicle. Tire rotation can prevent your shocks from wearing out as well. Shock and suspension repairs can be quite costly so the cost of rotating your tires each year is well worth it.
3. Check the Tire Pressure Regularly
Most newer vehicles have a tire pressure monitor (TPM) that will alert you when the air in your tires becomes too low. If your vehicle does not have this monitor, or even if it does, you should regularly check the air pressure to make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Tires that are properly inflated are not only safer while driving, but will also last for a longer period of time.
4. Keep a Steady Pace when Driving
If you are somewhat of a jerky driver and often will speed up and slow down, you are going to use more gas than you need. When you are driving on the highway set your cruise control so that you drive at a steady pace. If you do not have cruise control, try to maintain your speed when you are driving. This will help lower your consumption of fuel, which will save you money when you are driving.
5. Choose the Right Fuel
Many people make the mistake of thinking that they should user a higher grade fuel. However, there is actually no point in using a higher grade fuel than your car needs. If you think that a higher grade will help your vehicle, you are simply wasting money. The engine of your car has been built to withstand a specific octane level. Paying more for a higher grade of gas that has fewer octanes will not make your vehicle perform any better.
6. Compare Gas Prices
Each gas station has a different price for their fuel. It is a good idea to take notice of this so that you choose the gas station that has the lowest price in your area. There are some really good apps for your phone that will tell you which gas station near you currently has the lowest price.
7. Checking your Fluid Levels
Checking your vehicle’s fluid levels regularly can save you hundreds of dollars each year. You should check the transmission fluid, oil, radiator fluid, steering fluid, power steering fluid, clutch fluid, and brake fluid regularly. Typically, when you are getting your oil changed you can have your fluid checks as well.
8. Take Care of Cracks in your Windshield Right Away
It may seem like a small crack in your windshield is no big deal. However, if you leave a small crack for a long time without fixing it, you are more likely to end up with a broken windshield. Remember – a crack can be sealed quite cheaply. Replacing a windshield is quite costly.
9. Be Efficient
Carpooling can help reduce the amount of wear on your vehicle. Another way to save wear on your vehicle is to plan your driving routes so that you efficiently complete the tasks that you need to. Apps like Waze can help you be more efficient on the road as they can help you find the quickest route to your destination all the while avoiding traffic and unnecessary stoppage.
10. Compare Auto Insurance Rates
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they own a vehicle is paying too much for auto insurance. When you are shopping for car insurance it is important to make sure that you compare rates with several companies first. Here at Insurance Panda, we give you that option. Use the Insurance Panda quote comparison tool to find the cheapest rates for you and your family. It’s quick, easy, and best of all – free.