Having a car can sometimes feel like having another family member. And I’m not talking about fancy Porsche and 60s Mustang models that men buy when their mid-life crises hit the fan. Even the most affordable car models require gas, oil changes, repairs, insurance and many other expenses that can easily dry up your home budget. Families that have two or three cars need to give a small fortune for registration and vehicle inspection, and after a few years of oil price stagnation, we are waiting for an another gasoline price surge.
That is why we all need to work on cutting our car costs. Responsible driving and car ownership can take you a long way. It can cut your gas expenses and make sure you pay the lowest insurance premiums. There are also dozens of tricks that will help you to decrease your car costs even more. In this article, we’ll share tips and tricks that will make the car ownership more economical and pleasing.
Save Money on Car Purchases
You can save several thousand dollars on car purchases only. This money can grant you a much better vehicle that perfectly suits your family’s needs. Car prices rise each year, so you should abstain from replacing your car too often. From the moment you buy your vehicle its price starts to drop, and if you trade cars frequently, you’ve already lost a lot of money on low trade-in values. Also, when buying a car don’t take credit disability insurance or extended warranties from shady car dealers. These come with huge interest. You’ll be much better off if you buy this coverage from insurance and vehicle warranty providers.
Drive Your Car Sensibly
A highway is not an Indie 500, so avoid speeding, rapid acceleration and hitting the brakes. Irresponsible driving puts you and your family in danger, and it drastically increases your gas expenses. Several national driving laboratories have concluded that sensible driving can save you from $400 to $600 per year on gas costs alone. Your optimal speed should be around 50 mph. Cruising at this speed will bring you the highest gas mileage, and for every 5mph above, you’ll need to pay another 20 cents per gallon.
Save Money by Buying Good-quality Tyres
The best way to save money on tires is to buy a good quality product. This way you’ll minimize the tyre damage and all the expenses that come with it. Although popular brands like Continental tyres, for example, aren’t the most affordable choice, they are much more durable than their cheaper alternatives. Buying them will guarantee you a safe and comfortable ride.
When it comes to tyres you also need to make sure that they are properly inflated. Apart from safety issues, small tyre pressure can also decrease your gas mileage by 3,3%. Of course, make sure you don’t go by the maximum pressure level printed on the tyre. Car owners whose vehicles have pressure monitoring systems have much fewer problems with tyre pressure.
Use the Proper Oil
When buying motor oil, you need to stick to the grade recommended by the manufacturer. This way, you will decrease the friction inside the engine. The right motor oil can make your engine parts last longer, and it also increases the gas mileage from 1 to 2%. When choosing the engine oil, you should also look for the brands with ‘energy conserving’ signs. These mean that the oil contains the friction-reducing additives. Also, make sure that you change the motor oil on a regular basis. In time, the oil gets filled with the engine dust and debris and avoiding changes for a long time will damage your car’s engine and shorten its lifespan.
If you are a handy person, you can probably change wiper blades, tyres, fuses and lights by yourself. You can even try to change the car oil or replace an air filter. But still, regular visits to a car mechanic are the most important precaution for extending your car’s lifespan and for cutting your costs in the long run. Of course, you need to find an educated and experienced professional, who knows what they’re doing. When searching for a local car mechanic ask other drivers for recommendation and search for online reviews.