10 Tips to Reduce Car Expenses

Posted by on March-15-2009 under Save Money on Car

Expenses on your car are one of the biggest drain on your wallet. We sometimes do not realize the complete impact of these. However, if you try to add up the all the expenses that we have to do on our car every year (including insurance, gas, any repairs, state inspection etc.), you will be really amazed with the amount. So, I decided to write this article about some Money Saving Tips to reduce Car Expenses. If you have some other tips to share, please mention in Comments.

1. Reduce Car Insurance Premium: Seriously, Car Insurance is the single biggest expense that we do on our cars. And the worst part is that we have to do it year after year. Most of the people are paying a lot more for their car insurance than they should be. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • They have taken Car Insurance from an expensive company. If they just switch to other company, they can get substantial savings. I use Netquote.com to get a car insurance quote from multiple companies in one go. It is completely free service, so give it a try. Nothing to lose – might end up saving some money, though :)

    Save up to 20% on Insurance, Free Quotes!

  • Sometimes people have more insurance than they actually need. I have written a whole article just around this topic. Check it out here: Tips to Choose Right Coverage Limits for Auto Insurance
  • Sometimes, people take separate Auto and Home Owner’s Insurance. This is just a wastage of money, as most of the insurance companies offer considerable discount if both these insurance are taken together. You can check a quote at Netquote.com for this as well.

2. Reduce Oil Change Expenses: Oil change is another recurring automobile expense. Many a times, people are lured into getting an expensive oil change, even though that is not required. Most of the cars do well even with a synthetic oil change. In case you are tempted to use a better oil, I advise you buy the oil yourself and ask your mechanic to use that oil. That would save money as well. Better still, if you are one of those Do-It-Yourself guys, try doing an oil change yourself.(Click here to be notified via email when a similar article is published)

3. Don’t Use Premium Fuel: For most cars, premium gasoline offers no benefit. Unless your car has a high-performance engine and your manufacturer recommends a high-octane gas, use the cheapest available gas. Premium gas costs 10% to 15% higher than regular gas, and this is a completely useless car expense.

4. Car Pool to Work: This is a great way to reduce your car expenses. If you start car pooling, you will see your automobile expenses dropping significantly. You will have to pay less for insurance (insurance companies charge lesser if you don’t take your car to work everyday), less mileage on the car, less wear and tear, less frequent service etc. So, try to develop this habit of car pooling, and see your savings pile up.(Click here to be notified via email when a similar article is published)

5. Wash Car Yourself: I estimated that if I started washing the car myself just once a month, I would end up saving almost $100 every year! Try this out on a sunny weekend. You save money, and feel good about it.

6. Reduce Expenses on Tires: If you have a Costco membership, then this is the best place to buy your tires. Not only are they discounted, but they have an insanely good warranty (for free). Get your air checked, and flat tire fixed at Discount Tire. They do it for FREE!!

7. Don’t Get Service at the Dealer: Many people get their car serviced from their dealer. What they don’t realize is that most of the dealers have higher prices for labor and service, and the parts are overpriced. Instead, get the car serviced from your local mechanic. Believe me, you would be amazed to see how less your mechanic would charge.

8. Get a Second Opinion: If some mechanic recommends a major service to you, get a second opinion on that from another mechanic before spending that money.

9. Buy Late Model Used Cars: Leased cars are most of the times late model used cars. They’re better than rentals because leases have to be returned in excellent condition and have mileage limits. By buying a car that’s a few years old, you not only avoid the immediate loss in value, but you also have lower insurance and registration costs, both of which are car expenses you don’t consider on a daily basis but that do add up.(Click here to be notified via email when a similar article is published)

10. Keep Cars Longer Instead of Trading Every Few Years: Not only does the cost of new cars rise each year, but cars depreciate quickly, so you lose most of the money in the initial few years. Buy a good quality car (late model used, as mentioned above) and keep it for seven to ten years.

All these practical tips can potentially reduce your car expenses by a few hundred dollars every year.

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4 Responses so far.

  1. DINKS says:

    oh yeah, i’m all about the washing your car yourself one! harder in winter of course, but a great way to enjoy the weather AND cross off a task…just don’t do it around a lot of environmentalists as they’ve already told me it wastes more water than hitting up a car wash ;)

  2. Anonymous says:

    We all know the cost of fuel is high. But I have found that if you drive 65mph or less your fuel millage will increase as much as 4-5 miles to the gal

  3. Ju says:

    Awesome post!

    If you move forward to buy a car, here is a tip:

    When buying anew car you should bring a piece of paper to the dealership and make sure you do all the math of the finance calculations yourself. The point is not that they will do the math wrong. The point is you will see exactly how the deal is structured. Do not be afraid to take the time to do this or look like a fool.

    Here are five other steps that may save you thousands if you follow them next time you buy a car: http://www.butasforme.com/2009/03/29/how-to-buy-a-new-or-used-car/

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