5 Ways to Save on Your Automobile Expenses

For some of us, owning a car is just a part of our regular life because of where we live. Very few places in the United States are extremely walkable for daily tasks, or have great, efficient public transportation. So for us, we simply need to own a car in order to perform our regular tasks. But, owning a car can get pretty darn expensive. So we have come up with 5 awesome ways to help you save on your car expenses and help keep more money in your wallet.

Fueling Up

Shopping around for the best fuel prices can really help you save a ton on gas. One of the best ways I have found to shop around, recently, is by using the GetUpside app. I love this thing! It only shows you the gas stations nearby that they partner with. However, they partner with most of the big gas stations, such as BP, Exxon and Shell, so you have plenty of choices.

How they save you money is by giving you cashback on your purchases. You can cash out whenever you want into your PayPal account or for a gift card. I usually cash my balance out for Amazon gift cards so that we can use the money towards regular household purchases. So far, we have used the money to buy a new vacuum cleaner and some exercise equipment.

Another great trick to help you save money when fueling up is choosing the best time to fill up. If you fuel up when it is cooler out, then there is less evaporation of gasoline fumes while fueling. So you keep more of the fuel you are paying for instead of it disappearing into thin air.

Also, try not to fuel up if a refueling truck is at the station whenever possible. This is due to the fact that when they pump the new gasoline into the tanks they disturb the sediment at the bottom of the tank. That gunk reduces your gas mileage and therefore costs you more money.

Insurance

Shopping around for car insurance can be a huge undertaking and kind of a pain. But with so many car insurance companies out there, shopping around today is in your best interest. Most companies make it easy to get a quick online quote without having to jump through a ton of hoops, so it would be worth your time to check them all out.

Some of the best car insurance comparison sites to check out are:

A good thing to keep in mind when choosing insurance is that you want to make sure they are going to cover you in any situation to maximize your premiums. You also want to ensure that they have phenomenal customer service. After all, what good is an insurance policy if you can’t get a hold of anyone when you really need them or they refuse to cover basic things?

For me, personally, I have used Nationwide Insurance since I began driving. I realize that their rates can be a bit higher than other insurance carriers. But, my agent is on my speed dial and any time I have an issue (or the 8th car accident, because people keep trying to kill me!) he takes care of everything right away for me.

My agent works hard for me by:

  • getting me the most amount of money allowable from both insurance companies
  • takes care of rental cars
  • puts in the claim
  • works on getting everything settled
  • communicates with all departments at both insurance companies for me, if need be

Having a great agent to go to bat for you when you really need the insurance is completely worth the extra money I might be spending monthly. Because in the long run, I have made more than I have spent with them, all due to accidents that weren’t even my fault.

Maintenance

Properly maintaining your car is integral to making sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. It also ensures that your car will operate as long as possible for you, so that you won’t be out of pocket purchasing another car as quickly. And we all know how expensive buying a new car can be!

The best car maintenance schedule tips to remember are to:

  • change your oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles (depending upon which type of oil your car takes)
  • rotate your tires every time you change your oil
  • make sure your tires are inflated to the proper PSI
  • follow the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance plan for certain mileage (30,000, 60,000 & 90,000 miles typically)

For any of the smaller stuff that you can do yourself, you definitely should because it will save you some money. The things that most of us can do, or figure out with the help of our local auto parts stores are:

  • Changing windshield wiper blades
  • Filling windshield wiper fluid
  • Changing light bulbs (in most cases)

Ultimately, the more regular maintenance you do on your car, the longer it will last.

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Planning

Planning your trips is extremely important when it comes to saving money on automobile expenses. This is simply because if you plan out your route more efficiently, then you won’t have to be on the road as long.

A good example of this is that I like to plan out when I do my big grocery shops once every two weeks and do them in the same order. I found that going to each of the regular 3 I hit up in a specific order, not only gets me in and out much faster, but the way I run the route means less mileage driven.

If I do them all on different days or at different times, I am driving much more distance. This not only uses up more gas, but also generates more wear and tear on my vehicle, thereby reducing its overall life expectancy. Therefore, to get more life out of your car, make sure you plan your trips out ahead of time, whenever possible, to drive the least amount of miles.

Driving Tips

There are certain driving tips that we can all implement to help increase our gas mileage, which in turn, helps us save money.

Slowing down to under 50 mph is a big one. Every car is different, of course, but the average speed where gas mileage begins to fall is 50 mph and above. So if you can slow down to below that, you will be increasing your gas mileage and saving more money.

Carrying extra weight in your car can also adversely affect your gas mileage. For example, an extra 100 pounds can affect your gas mileage by a reduction of 1%. While that may not sound like much, it can really add up.

Driving aggressively is another area where a lot of us could use some assistance. Whenever you continually slam on your brakes or the gas, it could potentially cost you up to an extra $1 per gallon. That is crazy!

Keeping these few important tips in mind can really help you save some major money on your car expenses.

Saving on Car Expenses

Overall, there are a lot of different ways to help you save on your car expenses. But we have found the best tips to help you save the most to be:

  1. Paying attention to when you are fueling up and using apps to help get some of your money back
  2. Shopping around for your car insurance and finding a good carrier who will take care of you
  3. Maintaining your car properly and doing the minor stuff yourself
  4. Planning your trips more consciously ahead of time to drive less
  5. Slowing down, not carrying extra weight in your car or driving aggressively

If you follow these great tips, it could really help you save a bundle in the long run!

What have you found to be the best ways to save the most money on your car expenses?