9 Ways to
Save Money on Your Car
Because we use our cars so much, we spend lots of money when it comes to our vehicle purchases, fuel, maintenance, and any other thing that has to do with a car. These expenses can add up to thousands of dollars per year. Here you will find some suggestions and ideas that you can use to save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars per year when it comes to your automobile expenses.
1. Buy a good-quality used car instead of a brand-new one. You can save yourself a lot of money by purchasing for yourself a good-quality used car instead of a new one. If you put in the extra work to make sure that you are getting a high-quality automobile, you will end up with a used car that is only half the price of a brand-new car, if not more, saving yourself thousands of dollars. You just need to take advantage of some websites that are dedicated to helping you do the proper research: Kelley Blue Book will help you find the buying and selling price of the car you are thinking of purchasing; Edmunds is the place to go to get expert car reviews and pricing; and CarFax will let you see the vehicle's actual history, letting you know whether it has had any costly hidden problems. Once you get through all the legwork, and still decide to purchase the car you are seriously interested in, if you are interested in getting that car in a private trade, or through a used-car dealership, it would be wise to also hire an expert from Alliance Inspection Management, who will meet you at the car you are thinking of purchasing, and do a highly-detailed inspection on that car, letting you know for sure whether the car is really worth it. It doesn't cost very much to use these services, and the cost savings in the long run can be quite substantial.
2. Purchase a car with cash instead of leasing or financing. Don’t lease a car, or get one with an auto loan, as you will eventually have to spend more money in the long run. If you save up the cash to purchase that automobile before you go and get it, and pay for it with your own funds, you will save yourself the money that you would otherwise have to spend in interest on the car loan, or leasing fees. Over the time period, in terms of years, that you drive that car, the amount of money that you save can add up to thousands of dollars. Make sure that you do your research first, through services like the ones that are listed above, as these can help ensure that you find and purchase a high-quality car.
If you are stuck in a lease, and you want to get out of it, it would be good for you to check out: Lease Trader - they will help you get out of a lease by helping you trade your lease to someone else. And, if you need to get a car loan, because you don't have any other options, you should check out an online loan comparison website that allows you to compare the interest rates and rules for different loan companies. Many can provide loans to people with bad credit or no credit.
3. Get a more fuel-efficient car. Getting a car that gets 30 miles per gallon, instead of 20 miles per gallon, means that you can fill up 1/3 less than you would have without the more fuel-efficient automobile. For example, let's say you have a 10-gallon fuel tank, and it takes $35 to fill up that tank each week, that adds up to $1820 per year. Having to fill up 1/3 less means saving $1200 per year. If you keep your car for 5 years, that is about $6000 saved in the price of fuel over that 5-year period. Do some research through the websites listed above, compare car prices at CarPrices.com, and see what cars are possibly for sale at Cars Direct. You may also consider picking up a copy of the magazine Consumer Reports, which offers reviews for different consumer items, including automobiles, or in digital format for your tablet PC or Kindle.
4. Do your own car work. If you learn how to do your own car work, including maintenance and repairs, instead of paying a mechanic to do them, you can save yourself a lot of money. This includes learning to change your own oil, oil filter, brake pads and rotors, burned-out light bulbs, wipers, and air filters. Many of these products can be found at auto parts stores, taking away the need to go to an expensive mechanic. You can find all of the auto parts that you need online. You'll find that by ordering your auto parts online, instead of at an actual store, that you can save yourself even more money - you always find online discounts.
If you can find the right repair manual for your car, you can learn how to do some more complicated things, such as changing a head gasket, water pump, starter, alternator, fuel pump, timing belt, air conditioning compressor, and so forth - the top brands of DIY auto repair manuals are Haynes and Chilton. An alternative to getting a repair manual is to get repair manual software for your computer, such as RepairSurge. Repair manuals and repair manual software are worth their cost many times over. As a result of learning how to do your own car work, you will be able to save yourself countless thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been given to a mechanic to do the work for you. You just have to learn how to do it.
If, on the other hand, you've decided to have a mechanic repair your car because you can't find the time to do it yourself, and you know nothing about cars, the possibility of you getting ripped off can be quite high; in this case, the first thing you should do is to get yourself a repair manual for your own car and take a little time so that you can become more educated as to what needs to be done when you do take your car to a mechanic. The second thing you should do is to register with Angie's List, which is free to join these days, which allows you to look at hundreds of reviews for many car repair places that are nearby to you and make sure you choose a fair and honest place, not one that is likely to rip you off. The third thing that you can do, after your car repairs have been completed, is to take your car repair bill to a family member or friend who knows a lot about car repair, and have them evaluate your car repair bill to see if they think there is anything strange or "off" about your bill. Just doing these three things can save you money from getting ripped off, and save you from the headache of having to take your car somewhere else to get it repaired again because it wasn't repaired right the first time.
5. Comparison-shop for gasoline before you get fuel. Many gas station chains, such as BP or Speedway (in the Midwest U.S.) have websites that allow you to see what the prices are for different gas stations within their chain. Another option is to go to GasBuddy, or download the GasBuddy app for your smartphone, that allows you to see which gas stations in your area offer the lowest prices. Only after you see who has the lowest prices should you go ahead and go to the gas station with the cheapest fuel prices, and save yourself a few bucks.
6. Rotate, align, and balance your tires regularly. This allows your tires to last longer. By getting your tires to last longer, you will be spending less on tires than you otherwise would, saving yourself some money. Not only that, but making sure your tires are aligned and balanced helps to increase fuel efficiency by 2%-3%, which doesn't sound like a lot, but if you spend $1820 per year on fuel, a 2%-3% improvement in fuel efficiency adds up to $36-$52 dollars per year. This really adds up over the life of your cars, to $360-$520 over the course of a decade. If you are in need of new tires, you really should get them.
7. Make sure that your car’s tires are pressurized to the proper level. If they are not properly pressurized, your car will consume more fuel than it needs to. You can save yourself a bit of money in fuel costs just by regularly checking your car's tire pressure, and re-pressurizing them if the air pressure is too low. If your tires on your car are getting old and worn, then you might consider replacing them with new tires that are specifically designed to improve fuel efficiency.
8. Get rid of that extra stuff you keep in your car. This includes your trunk. Do this in order to reduce your car’s weight, and increase fuel efficiency. Reducing your car's weight by 2% can cause a corresponding reduction in fuel usage of 2%, so that extra weight really adds up. Clean out your car and your trunk, and put that extra money in your pocket. This book will help you find ways to reduce your gas mileage.
9. Change your car's air filter regularly. If it looks like it is getting dirty, change it out and replace it with a clean one. Having a clean air filter could save you up to 7% on fuel usage, which really adds up over time. If you spend $1820 per year on fuel, this can be a fuel savings of almost $100 per year - more than the cost of the air filters.
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