People know that the sticker price on the car window at the dealership is not the car’s total price. Car ownership costs far more than that initial price, but savvy owners know there are ways to bring that cost down. By treating car ownership as a serious purchase and long-term investment, car owners can maximize the benefits while minimizing the hit to their wallets.
Sometimes, car owners find that their financial situation has changed. What they could afford before becomes too expensive, and they need to find ways to trim their auto budgets. Regardless of the reason or the initial cost of the car, wasting money is not good for anyone. Check out these five simple ways to save money on car ownership.
Love the Car You’re With
This may seem overly simple to some, but it is tough for so many people. The lure of a newer, bigger, or more luxurious car model is tough to resist. Car ads and dealerships know how to lure people in for the sale. When coupled with what seems like a good deal at the dealership, many people cave and trade in their older car for a brand new one. However, hanging on to the older car for a while longer is often better.
If the older car gets good gas mileage and does not need tons of expensive repairs, it can be cost-effective to drive it for longer. Financing a new car is taking on a debt obligation. The car owner might have paid off the older car, and it might still be in good condition. Owners could set aside what they would have spent in monthly payments and then save themselves financing costs later by purchasing a newer car outright.
Regular Maintenance Protects
Car owners don’t have to be car whizzes to do basic maintenance on their cars. There are many resources available to help even newbie car owners. Most cars come with an owner’s manual from the manufacturer that will have simple car maintenance tasks the owner can do without needing a lot of tools or expertise.
The internet is another great resource for car owners who want to do simple maintenance at home. However, sometimes a mechanic is a better fit. Car owners can avoid bigger and costlier repairs down the road by following the recommended maintenance schedule for their cars.
Get a Second Opinion on Insurance
Car insurance companies calculate risk in different ways. This is why policy prices can vary from one company to another. They also may offer different kinds of discounts. The length of time a driver can go between accidents is also a major factor. This is why it’s smart to call several car insurance companies and compare quotes.
Because there are so many variables in a person’s life, the prices that car insurance companies offer for their policies can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in difference. Car owners can save so much money by asking for multiple quotes based on the coverage they need.
The Right Tires
Tires are often a hidden car cost. People may not realize that the kind of tire they use and how well the car owner maintains it can save them money or cost them dearly. Car owners can save by choosing a tire with the right tread for the season and driving surface. Some owners who drive on multiple surfaces or live in climates with extreme weather changes have more than one set of tires and change them out.
It’s also vital to maintain the correct tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can end up costing much more in the long run, as they lower the number of miles per gallon a car gets. Over time, this results in more frequent trips to the gas station. A tire gauge can help car owners stay on top of proper tire inflation and save a lot of money over the life of the car.
Take a Load Off
Bigger and heavier cars tend to get lower gas mileage, but having too much stuff in the car can also result in more trips to the gas pump. Car owners can make their vehicles more efficient by removing unnecessary items from the car.
Another thing to consider is not what is inside the car but what is on top of it. Carrying a roof rack or car-top carrier that isn’t in use can not only weigh the car down but also affects the aerodynamics of the car, creating more drag. More drag means the car needs to use more gas per mile, which ends up costing the owner at the pump.
Just a few simple steps can save car owners so much money. The costs of car ownership have hit an all-time high at a time when many are looking to trim costs in their budget. Smart car owners look for common-sense ways to preserve their investments so they don’t have to feel the pinch in other areas of their lives.