Cars are one of the most life-changing assets you can have in your possession.
We need them to get to work, go on road trips, and run errands. Unfortunately, it also comes with a major hefty tag.
From gas prices to maintenance costs, there are a lot of fees you can expect when owning a car. Not to mention, the upfront price tag of vehicles in the market still continues to soar to unprecedented levels.
With these rising costs, buying a car may feel like willingly burning a hole through your pocket. However, there are ways to save money on your car expenses.
Money Saving Tips for Your Car
Here are 10 tips to help you do just that.
1. Drive Only When Necessary
While you should absolutely make the most out of your purchase, it’s also practical to limit your car usage from time to time.
The less you drive, the less money you’ll spend on gas, maintenance, and repairs.
If possible, carpool, take public transportation, or ride your bike for shorter travels. Every mile you don’t drive is fewer gas expenses and a lowered risk of running into costly accidents.
Save the car for places that are hard to access through public transportation or when you’re bringing plenty of personal belongings.
2. Keep Your Car in Good Condition
Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your car running well and avoiding costly repairs down the road.
One thing you can do is to check your tire pressure regularly and get your oil changed every 5,000 miles or so. Another good measure is to examine your pedal brakes and steering wheel to see whether they’re in good condition.
If inspecting a car isn’t your forte, you can contact a mechanic or go to a car shop to determine how your car fares beyond its painted frame.
3. Shop Around for Insurance
Auto insurance is a necessary expense for all drivers. But you don’t have to overpay for it.
Before buying a car insurance policy, shop around and compare rates from different companies before buying a policy.
You may be surprised to know that another car insurance company’s policy offers virtually the same coverage at a much more affordable cost such as this one.
4. Don’t Buy Unnecessary Extras
When purchasing a new car, resist the temptation to buy unnecessary frills that you’re unable to afford.
Sure, you can modify your car or paint it to look more like your style, but only dish out that expense when you have the funds.
In general, also be alert over any plans that a car salesman may upsell. They may argue that an extended warranty is worth it, for instance, but you should do your own unbiased research before spending extra on something you just learned about a short moment ago.
5. Drive the Speed Limit
Speeding is not only dangerous, but it’s also expensive. Every time you get pulled over for speeding, there’s a fine you’ll have to pay out of pocket—and it’s not the cheapest thing in the world.
If you get caught going too fast in a school zone or construction zone, those fines will be even higher. Save yourself the money and avoid the risk by driving the speed limit at all times. Not only is it safer, but it also indirectly saves you from paying more for your car over time.
6. Use Discounts and Coupons
On some occasions, car shops and retail companies may offer discounts for a catalogue of car products. You should absolutely take advantage of them.
As such, look for discounts and coupons to help offset the cost of gas, tires, repairs, and other relevant car parts. You can often find these coupons in newspapers and magazines. Online discount links may also appear from time to time on the social media pages of participating stores.
And if you’re not sure whether your local car shop is holding a discount, don’t hesitate to ask! Many retailers are looking to offload their inventory, so be sure to be in the loop about whether there are available discounts before making a purchase.
7. Choose Fuel-Efficient Cars
If you could select a fuel-efficient car over a standard one, it’s a no-brainer what you should go for.
Even a slightly more expensive fuel-efficient car can pay off dividends throughout its car lifecycle. If you plan to use your car for daily commutes and long road trips, a fuel-efficient car can be excellent in cutting down on rising gas costs.
As such, when buying a new car, look for one with great gas mileage. You’ll be surprised how much money you’ll end up saving by going this route.
8. Buy Used Cars
An alternative to look into when buying a car is buying one that is second-hand.
You can often find nearly-new cars for a fraction of the price of their brand-new counterparts because depreciation hits as soon as a new car drives off the lot.
When buying used, be sure to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic before committing to purchase it. This way, you won’t come across surprises after you’ve signed the deal.
9. Negotiate When Buying or Leasing a Car
As much as possible, never pay sticker price for a car. There’s always room for negotiation, especially if you’re paying cash instead of financing through the dealership.
If you’re trading in an old car be sure to know its value ahead of time so you don’t get lowballed by the dealer. When leasing, be sure to negotiate the terms of the lease including mileage limits and monthly payments before signing any paperwork.
10. Search Online
Not too long ago, prospective car owners had to sift through dedicated magazines and newspapers or visit local car shops to find cars for sale. This limits the pool of potential car options drastically.
The Internet has changed that. Nowadays, a simple search in Facebook groups or a dedicated car marketplace can offer you a wide range of options. You can now see more offers for your desired car build and colour, which can ultimately lead you to make a more affordable decision.