Many people save up for the down payment and pay monthly bills just to buy a car. Some are willing to go through all this effort for the convenience of owning a car. For others, purchasing their car is a top financial goal. Getting yourself a car may seem to get much easier these days, but the costs of keeping one get higher.
One of the biggest costs for keeping a car is fuel, which price is also rising nonstop every month and year. Besides the fuel, you need to think about other things such as repairs and maintenance, toll and parking fees, vehicle insurance, cosmetic work, and registration fees. To help you keep your costs down and save money, here are four useful car maintenance tips to follow.
1. Stick to the service schedule
Scheduling maintenance services may sound contradictory to saving money, but actually, it’s not. Sticking to a car maintenance service schedule is a surefire way to prevent expensive repairs or parts replacements. Opt for a local auto repair shop that has qualified mechanics and is equipped with all the equipment. For instance, an efficient auto repair shop uses mobile column car lift systems to guarantee fast and safe vehicle servicing.
Having vehicle lifts is a good sign that the shop can operate smoothly and safely without causing damage to your car or even risking their mechanics when they need to check underneath. An auto shop without such functional auto equipment can lead to delays and inaccuracies in the repairs. Check the entire workshop before having your car serviced there.
2. Be smart with insurance
The next important thing is your car insurance. If you don’t have one yet, shop around to have bigger savings. It’s best to get quotes from at least three auto insurance providers. You’d also want to take note of their offered coverage, rate, and complaint ratios. You could reduce the cost down by 10% by getting home and car insurance in one company. Find providers who can combine home and auto insurance policies for lower rates. If you’re always a careful and responsible driver, you might find it beneficial to take the provider for a spin.
Many insurance companies today provide discounts to clients who let them track their driving habits by installing a device. Moreover, know the right time to file a claim. If you’re at fault and wrongly file a claim, you can increase your premium up to 41%. For minor accidents that don’t cause injuries to you or somebody else, pay off the car repairs if you have on-hand money.
3. Maximize fuel economy
Fuel is indeed a huge car expense. If you want to save money, find ways to be more fuel-efficient. One simple tip is easing your vehicle into driving, especially if you’re going on a long-distance road trip. This can help warm up your driving while preventing excessive wear to the engine. And once it’s safe to do so, you can start driving in high gear at the lowest revs. This is also an excellent way to conserve fuel since the engine won’t have to work too much.
Another way to cut your car expenses is by switching to cheap fuel. Explore local stations near your home or office for the best rates. Fuel prices vary greatly depending on the petrol station, which makes it possible that there are more affordable ones that you can visit to fill up your tank.
4. Save money on the road
Besides finding cheap gas, there are other ways for you to save money, especially when going on a road trip or long drives. Remember the posted speed limits on the routes you’re traveling. There are traffic and speed cameras that can send you a photo bill if you violate the speed limit. At the same time, if you’re regularly passing through toll roads, check for express pay lanes or passes that you can get. These usually come with discounted or lower toll fees and faster lanes too. And for the last tip, be creative with how you travel. If it’s for a short-distance errand, ride your bike or walk instead of driving.
Depending on the type, age, or model of your car, the total costs can add up. Luckily for you, there are various ways to keep your expenses down. So, if you’re planning to use a personal car for years to come and not switch to public transport anytime soon, do these tips to save some money. Is your total car ownership cost still high? Maybe it’s time to decide whether you should keep your car for longer or purchase a more efficient one.