If you are on a tight budget, you might want to check out your automobile related costs. Chances are you can take some simple steps to save some serious money. Americans spend more money on their cars than any other country in the world. In fact, the average driver will spend over half-a-million dollars on automobile related costs during their lifetime. That is some serious money!
For a typical SUV, like a Toyota RAV, the 5-year cost of ownership will be around $41,000. This includes direct auto insurance, gasoline, depreciation, repairs, registration fees and so on. Cars are downright expensive to own. Over a typical 60-year span of driving, you can see how costs can up to well over $500,000.
There are Several Smart Tips to Spend Less on Your Automobile
Most people are in a dilemma. They need a good reliable car, but on the other hand, new or newer cars are so expensive. Here are some proven ways to lower your vehicle costs.
- Use apps on your smartphone.You can easily find the cheapest gas where you live, just using an app. Paying just $.55 cents less per gallon of gas would equal to about $300 in annual savings. Also, fill-up each time you get gas, as it saves time as well.
- Buy regular Octane gas.Many automobile manufacturers recommend premium octane gas, but most experts say it’s not necessary. You can get away in most cases with purchasing 87 octanes. This alone can save you well over $100 per year.
- Reduce Vehicle Drag.Did you know that roof racks and cargo boxes increase drag and therefore reduce gas mileage? Just eliminating a roof rack when you don’t need it could save you $100 per year or more in gas expenses.
- Stop the Car Warm-Up.It’s not the 70’s anymore and you don’t need to warm up your car. Most new cars don’t need 10 minutes of warming up. Just turn your car on and drive gently for the first few miles. Stopping this habit can save you about $120 per year.
- Use Cruise Control.When you are on the highway, try using the cruise control feature whenever you can. This tip can save you $50 or more per year.
- Don’t Accelerate Aggressively.Are you one of those people that races off when the light turns green as fast as you can? Aggressive acceleration eats up much more gas, and oh yes, your pocketbook. Accelerating slowly can save you hundreds per year. According to the Auto Club or America, you could save $900 or more each year by gently accelerating.
- Bundle Home and Auto Insurance.Why hassle with two insurance policies when you can bundle and save. According to directautoinsurance.org, combining both automobile and homeowners insurance coverage can save you over $250 per year. Just make sure you shop around for the best insurance rates before you buy.
- Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs. One way to reduce your premium is to raise your deductible. For safe drivers this can add up to savings of $200 per year or more. Also, use comparison sites to shop around for the cheapest rate based on the coverage you need. This can save you $500 annually.
- Pump it Up.Are you one of those people who never check you tire pressure? Not doing so can cost you. In fact, pumping up under-inflated tires can save you $60 each year. If you don’t have a pressure gauge, just stop by any tire show and they will check your tires and pump them up if needed for free.
- Refinance your Auto Loan.Do you have an automobile loan that is 8% or higher? If so, you can save some serious money by refinancing it. Going from an 8% loan down to 4% or 5% will save you hundreds each year. If you don’t qualify, then get your credit score up and reapply in a few months. Try this Auto Refinance Calculator to explore how much you could save on your car loan.
- Eliminate Comprehensive and Collision Coverage on Old Cars.If you have a car that is valued at $6,000 or less, it’s probably smart to let go of more expensive insurance coverage. Getting rid of comprehensive and collision insurance can save you a lot of money.
- Go to Traffic School.If you get a ticket, ask the judge if you can go to traffic school. This will allow you to keep a clean driving record and keep your auto insurance premium low.
- Buy a Nearly New Car.New cars depreciate very quickly. Many depreciate thousands the first year. Save money and lower your insurance rates by buying a used vehicle that is just one or two years old. This will save you thousands.
Make a Plan of Action
Now that you know how to reduce your vehicle costs, make a plan of action that works for you. Go over this list again and make a note of each tip that you can take advantage of. If you do, you will be on your way to lowering your automobile expenses and keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.