If you have a car, you know that the sticker price is not all that is involved in the price of automobile ownership. You also have to consider things like insurance, maintenance, gas, and vehicle registrations. While you can’t really change the cost of of a license plate, you do have control over some of the other costs of owning a car.
There are tons of different companies that offer car insurance. It makes sense to do a cheap auto insurance quotes comparison online. If you only use the company your parents did and never check rates, you could be shelling out unnecessary money. Certain civic groups and credit unions offer insurance discounts. Be sure to ask. Some insurance companies also offer special perks for members as well. The company I currently use gives 20% off for certain hotels and rental car agencies, so don’t toss any paperwork that accompanies you insurance documents.
Routine maintenance goes a long way in lowering the cost of car ownership. It might seem like you’re pocketing a few extra dollars in the short term by skipping oil changes and tire rotations, but you are shortening the life of you car. Since my car is paid off, I want to keep it running for as long as I can. I don’t know much about car parts and repairs, but tires, anything that ends in -or, and any part that operates with a belt seems to be expensive. If routine maintenance can keep these items working longer, it is a smart investment. I also don’t want to break down on the side of the road.
If you don’t drive a Lamborghini and you use premium gas, you are probably pouring money down the gas tank. Normal cars don’t need anything but regular unleaded. At sea level that is usually 87 octane. At elevation, like in Colorado, most regular gas is 86 octane, and that works just fine. Also if you have a store like Kroger or Safeway, get their value card. You can usually save at least $.03/gallon, sometimes up to a $1, depending on how much you shop. Don’t drive 10 miles to save a penny per gallon, but if it’s on your way, pick the cheapest station.
Be a Safe Driver
Being a boring driver saves costs on insurance, maintenance, and gas. If you get a speeding ticket once a month your insurance, mechanic bill, and gas mileage take a hit. If you are perpetually late, try getting up a half hour earlier. It costs much less than points on your driver’s license.
Unless you live in an area with great public transportation or ride a bike everywhere, you probably have to drive a car at least part of the time. By making good decisions and shopping around, you can save a great deal of money on the cost of car ownership.
What is your best tip for car owner savings? Are you a lead foot?