Are you tired of constantly spending money on your car? From gas to insurance to repairs, owning a vehicle can quickly add up. However, several ways exist to reduce these costs and keep more hard-earned funds in your pocket. Take a look at some tips on how to save money on your auto expenses. Whether you want to keep your car for as long as possible, avoid claiming minor damage on your insurance, or prepare for routine repairs, these ideas will help you reduce expenses and maintain a well-functioning vehicle.
1. Keep Your Car as Long as You Can
Owning a car can be a considerable expense, but keeping it as long as possible will help you save money. In addition, by avoiding frequent car purchases, you’ll reduce the upfront costs and ongoing fees that come with owning a new vehicle.
According to Carsurance, 8.4 years is the average amount of time that most people keep their cars. So, whether your vehicle is brand new or a few years old, consider saving it for at least ten years or until it becomes unreliable. On the other hand, if it’s still dependable and affordable to maintain, you may want to keep it even longer.
2. Avoid Claiming Minor Damage to Your Insurance
If you’re involved in a minor car accident, filing a claim with your insurance company can be tempting. However, it could increase your monthly premiums, which would be a more significant expense in the long run. Instead, consider paying for minor damages out of pocket and only filing a claim if the damage is substantial.
Did you know that a piece of trim for a vehicle that may have been damaged in a crash could cost about $5 to the manufacturer, but when it hits retail stores, there’s generally a 5,000% markup on the same piece? If you get in a fender bender, check online for parts if you’re fixing the damage yourself because the markups are generally lower.
3. Save Money for Routine Repairs
Routine maintenance and repairs are inevitable in car ownership, but you can reduce costs by preparing for them in advance. Set aside a small amount each month to cover these expenses so you’re not caught off guard when they arise. AAA recommends putting aside at least $50 monthly to prepare for routine car, truck, or SUV maintenance. This way, you’ll be able to get the repairs you need without having to take out a loan or rely on credit.
4. Consider a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle is a smart way to save money on car expenses. These vehicles consume less fuel and therefore require fewer trips to the gas pump. As a result, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on fuel costs over the vehicle’s lifetime. Additionally, these kinds of cars often have a lower upfront cost and may also be eligible for government tax credits. Choosing a fuel-efficient car can reduce your monthly expenses and help protect the environment.
5. Drive Less Often
Driving less is a surefire way to save money on your auto expenses. By reducing the amount you drive, you use less fuel and put less wear and tear on your car. This can result in fewer trips to the gas station and lower maintenance costs. Additionally, by using alternative modes of transportation, such as public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking, you can save on the cost of gas, insurance, and vehicle depreciation.
Following these tips can reduce your auto expenses and save money over time. Remember, the key to success is being proactive and making wise financial decisions regarding your car. So, take control of your vehicle expenses now and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained and affordable vehicle.