Aside from a home, a car is one of the biggest purchases most people make in their lifetime. Buying a car can take a large chunk out of your savings, but it’s a necessary expense if you have to travel significant distances each day. Having a car is also really useful at weekends, if you want to take a day trip with your family.
So, having a car is necessary for many people, but car ownership can be expensive. Finding the money to buy a car can be hard enough. Then you have to face the ongoing expenses of car ownership, such as gas and maintenance. There are some things that you can do to help reduce these costs.
Keep your car well maintained
Once you have purchased a car, it’s important to keep maintenance up to date. Doing this helps to keep the car in better condition and makes it run more efficiently. Let’s take a look at how this can save you money.
- Keep your car tuned, as a car that is not tuned can use as much as a third more gas than it should.
- Change the oil and the oil filter at least every 3,000 miles. This helps to keep the engine in good condition, saving you money on repairs.
- Check the air filter at least once a month. A dirty filter reduces fuel efficiency and can cause damage to the engine. Talking car of the filter helps you to spend less on gas and repairs.
- Check tire pressures regularly. Keeping the tires at the right pressure helps to make your car more fuel efficient which means you spend less on gas. It also help to keep the tires in good condition and improves your safety on the road.
Pump your own gas
One way in which you can save on fuel costs is to pump your own gas. Self-service gas stations are available in most states and the gas is usually around 5-10% cheaper if you pump it yourself. While you are pumping gas make sure that you do not “top off the tank”. Once the gas tank is full, the pump will pull back any extra gas that you are trying to put in. This means that you could be paying for gas that you do not use.
Carpool to work or college
One of the best ways to cut down on the costs of car ownership is to use your vehicle less. This does not mean that you have to use the transport system instead. You can get together with a group of colleagues, or fellow students, and carpool. Using your car less means that you spend less on fuel. It also means that your car stays in good condition for longer, reducing the need for maintenance and repairs. As well as saving money in this way, you also get to reduce your carbon footprint which is good for the world around you.
- Accelerate as gently as possible.
- Be aware of traffic around you so that you drive evenly and do not have to slow down and stop on several occasions.
- Do not drive too fast or too slowly.
Running a car is always going to cost a significant amount of money but all of this advice can be used to help reduce running costs as much as possible.