Ways to Save on the Cost of Car Ownership
While cars are great and convenient to have, they aren’t without their expenses. To keep from feeling as if you have to pour more money into the upkeep of your car than you absolutely have to, learn how to slash the total cost of what it takes to keep your vehicle operational and looking its absolute best.
Practice Sensible Driving
If you don’t already, pay close attention to how you drive. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure you don’t often slam on the brakes, accelerate rapidly or speed when there’s no need to. Each of these practices eats away at your gas mileage, which eats away at your finances. Doing away with aggressive driving practices can result in doing away with unnecessary spending.
Turn the Car Off Rather Than Let It Idle
If you’re waiting for a train to pass, in the line for drive-thru or just waiting for a passenger to make a quick stop at the bank, turn the car off rather than let it idle in park. You can easily waste as much as a quarter of a tank of gas while idling. Alternatively, you only use about 10 seconds worth of gas when you crank your car up. During the winter season when you crank your car and let it warm up while idling, you’ll be better off driving slowly after 30 seconds, as doing so is a better way to heat the engine up.
Wash Your Own Car
When at all possible, wash your car yourself rather than pay to have it done at a car wash or gas station. While you’ll have to put in a bit of effort cleaning your car yourself, there’s more of a sense of accomplishment when you’re done, and there’s also the fact that you don’t have to worry about tipping anyone. The same applies to cleaning out and vacuuming the interior of your vehicle as well.
Don’t Use Your Air Conditioner More Than Necessary
During the hotter months of the year, try not to use your air conditioner if you can stand it. Instead, roll your windows down and see if that’s enough to keep you and your passengers cool and comfortable. For those especially hot days, it’s best that you roll your windows down first to let the hot air out before you crank up the air. Also, rolling your windows down makes sense when driving at low speeds while opting for the air conditioner is better when driving at high speeds, which also helps boost your gas mileage.
Plan to Own Your Vehicle for at Least Eight Years
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, plan on buying something that will last you for at least eight years. You might already be well aware of how expensive it can be to finance a car and how much of its value depreciates over time, which is why you want to get as many miles out of your vehicle as you possibly can. Something else to think about is the fact that you can slowly start saving up for a new car as you reach the eight-year mark with your current car. There are few better feelings than being able to pay for your car in one lump sum rather than have to stretch it out over monthly payments.
Use the Right Motor Oil
Before taking your vehicle in for a routine oil change, double check the owner’s manual to see that you’re using the right motor oil. Not only can the wrong oil result in a dip in your gas mileage, it can lead to engine damage as well. No matter what kind of oil you get, look to see that it’s “energy conserving,” which means it’s formulated to reduce friction.
Be Smart About Insurance
Car insurance is another major expense when it comes to owning a car. For that reason, it’s best that you shop around for coverage on trusted sites like www.carinsurancecheap.net. Look for ways to bundle and save on your insurance, and be sure to ask about any and all discounts for which you might qualify.
No matter how long you’ve owned your car, chances are good there are more than a few new things you can do to save on the cost of ownership. Stay vigilant and stay smart to avoid spending more than necessary.