Having a car is essential for many of us, especially if we have a lifestyle where we are far from the supermarket, our place of work, or even our children’s schools. Not driving just isn’t an option, so we have to include running a vehicle into our household expenses. It’s a costly item we have to accommodate—or is it?
Running a car doesn’t mean that it’s always an expensive item that may even cause us to worry. There are several ways you can reduce your vehicle outgoings to keep costs to a minimum without compromising on your needs. Here are just a few tasks you can carry out to cut your driving expenses:
Keep Your Car Maintained
There are a number of money-saving opportunities you can try here. For instance, you should keep your car properly tuned: you could use between 25% and 33% more gas each year if it’s poorly tuned, so it is cheaper to pay for the tune-up.
You should also check your car’s air filter every month, as a dirty one will not only reduce gas mileage by 10% but also shorten the life of the engine. All you need to do is to remove the filter and blow it – or even replace it. Changing your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles will extend your engine’s life, too, and will save you cash on repairs and engine wear.
Check Your Car Insurance
This can be a major expense when you own a vehicle. Make sure you identify all your car’s safety features that qualify for discounts, such as airbags and automatic seatbelts. Also, check to see how much you can save by increasing the deductible on your auto collision insurance and – if you have an older vehicle – think about dropping collision and comprehensive coverage.
You may also wish to consider high risk auto insurance. You may need this depending on certain factors, such as speeding tickets, having a high-risk vehicle, or you have no prior insurance experience.
Look at Your Driving Routes
You should reevaluate your routes, especially those that you go on frequently. If there’s one route to your workplace that’s shorter than others but has numerous stop signs, traffic lights, or hills, then you may find you use more gas with this journey compared with a route that’s longer but has level roads and fewer stops. So try out a few different trips and check your fuel consumption on these roads.
Empty Your Vehicle
Make sure you aren’t carrying around any unnecessary weight around with you in your car. Having a trunk full of clutter means you’ll be using extra gas for no reason. So, by emptying your vehicle, you’ll find you will make some small savings that will add up as you drive. This will particularly be the case if you do a lot of stop-start driving. If you aren’t using them, you should also remove any roof racks or boxes at the same time you carry out this task.