Archive for February, 2011

Vehicles are expensive investments. It’s impossible to enjoy a car that runs good without spending a little money. Although it’s not good to cut corners, there are some simple ways to save on auto expenses.

1. Get A Gas App
Knowing where to get the best prices on gas is important. Most smart phones have apps for finding the cheapest gas prices and other gas discounts locally. Some stations also offer additional discounts for club members, students or senior citizens. Individuals who have memberships for stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club will find that buying their gas there is cheaper than filling up at a station. Some grocery stores also offer gas points with grocery purchases.

2. Make Sure The Gas Cap Clicks
After filling the tank, make sure the gas cap is screwed on properly. It should click a few times when it is. Gas caps that aren’t screwed on tightly contribute to poor gas mileage. It’s possible to decrease fuel efficiency by 10% just by failing to tighten the cap properly.

3. Get A Tune-Up
Keeping a car running smoothly is essential. Although a tune-up costs a little money, it is a vital investment. This procedure ensures the car is at its full potential. During the tune-up, the mechanic is also able to spot issues that may pose future problems. These problems are always much cheaper to fix before they become serious.

4. Join A Carpool
Driving to and from work requires spending more money on gas. In addition to this, there are more costs associated with wear and tear. One of the best ways to reduce both types of costs is to join a carpool. Find coworkers who are willing to share the driving responsibility with their own cars. If not, they may be willing to contribute money toward gas. There are also carpool ads placed in classified circulars. Try checking those to see if there are other interested carpool candidates with similar routes and schedules.

5. Start And Stop Gently
When pressing the gas and brake pedals, be sure to apply a gentle pressure. Although it isn’t good to ride the brakes, it is good to avoid hitting them too hard. Braking gently is better for the brakes and pads. Hitting the gas pedal hard is also wasteful on gas and will contribute to quicker wear of the tires. By simply following these steps, it’s easy to save at least $50 per year on maintenance expenses and gas. To save even more on gas, make sure the tire pressure is always correct in each tire.

6. Make Insurance Adjustments
Most auto insurance companies offer additional discounts to drivers who have cars with certain safety features. Be sure to tell the insurance company about every safety feature on the vehicle. Students with good grades should inquire about good student discounts. Another way to lower monthly car insurance premium payments is to increase the deductible. This should also provide good incentive to drive carefully enough to avoid accidents.

7. Pay Extra On Monthly Loan Payments
For vehicles that are still being paid off from a credit union or private lender, try to make small or large extra monthly payments. Be sure to write “balance toward principal” on the memo line of checks or money orders. Keep good records of all payments to ensure calculations are correct. Always try to set up private financing for a vehicle. Financing it through the car dealer will usually eliminate the possibility of paying the car off early using this method. Not all lenders are the same, so be sure to see if an individual lender offers this option before signing a contract.

Following these simple steps will help save hundreds of dollars each year on auto expenses. Keep in mind that the key idea is prevention. It is much cheaper to prevent problems than fix them.