Whether you own the latest high-spec car or you’re buying a used vehicle, a car is always one of your largest expenses. A US study reports that owning and running your vehicle can cost an average of $10,742 a year. As a result, many car owners want to find ways to save some money, especially when they can’t do without their four-wheel friend. Fortunately, you can use a few tricks to trim your car spending and save money. Here are some top tips for cutting down on your car expenses today.
- Only buy what you can afford
This tip may seem common knowledge, but many people bite more than they can chew. The costs of running a vehicle may vary depending on a few factors, including the type of car or model, usage, road surface, etc. Auto experts advise against spending over 20% of after-tax household income on a vehicle. The goal here is to live within your means. However, if you have to splurge, ensure to know how much it will cost you to own a particular vehicle. This way, you can make the needed adjustment to accommodate your car costs.
- DIY some auto maintenance
An oil change at the local garage can cost between $30 and $100. However, you will pay considerably less when you purchase the oil and filter at the auto parts shop and DIY. DIYing auto maintenance jobs such as cleaning your battery terminals and headlights, changing your oil and coolant, or replacing worn-out fuses can save you significantly on your car costs each year. The cost of running these maintenances by the local car service may seem small, but it can add up and increase your car expenses.
- Find ways to lower your auto insurance
Lowering your auto insurance is a straightforward way to reduce your monthly spending on your car. However, it may require some research, especially if you are a first-time car owner. One way is to talk to your insurer about possible ways to reduce your premium. Other things to try are completing a defensive driving course and shopping for discounted rates. You can also consider changing or reducing your current coverage. Whichever you choose, always keep the worst-case scenario, including accidents, in mind. You can get the most compensation from traffic accidents when you work with an expert accident lawyer. Maximizing your claims can go a long way to lowering your spending on your car.
Carpooling is one of the short-term ways to reduce your car costs. For instance, you can limit your spending on gas when you carpool in your friends, colleagues, or even family’s cars. It can also reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and your spending on avoidable damages and repairs. If possible, drive only when necessary or consider trekking or biking when you have to leave the house for shorter distances. The number of times you drive can impact car costs, and driving less puts more money in your pocket.
The tips above should be handy if you want to save money on your car costs. This list isn’t exhaustive, so you can explore a few other ways to save money on the road.