I have been around vehicles a lot. My father built a multi-million dollar business and has to deliver his products by cars and trucks. I have been driving to different states, hauling stuff for my dad’s company, since I was sixteen years old.
With all of my travels, I have learned a lot about vehicles. I have also learned about vehicles through the advice of others.
Had I known all of these 23 principles before a few costly decisions, I would be a richer person today. I hope that these principles concerning how to save money and time on your vehicles will prove useful to you.
- When you need a new air filter for your vehicle, replace it with a K&N filter. These can be cleaned regularly, they help improve fuel mileage, and they do not need to be replaced.
- Change your own oil if possible. Buy filters and oil when they are on sale. Or buy AmazonLocal or look for other coupon deals on oil changes.
- Use the most efficient fuel grade for your vehicle. Test your car by filling up with a specific fuel grade and compare how many miles each fuel grade gets you. For our Subaru we get 4 miles more per gallon by using the premium fuel which more than makes up for the price difference. It saves us money to buy premium fuel.
- Use fuel reward programs in your area for gas savings. Many stores have times when points are doubled, tripled or quadrupled (Kroger/Smith’s has a great program). Shop during those times if possible to maximize gas savings.
- Download the free app called ‘Gas Buddy’ or use the website gasbuddy.com and fuel up at the cheapest gas station in your area.
- Buy brake pads and other commonly replaced parts from a popular shop such as Auto Zone. There is usually a lifetime warranty on brake pads and other parts such as roters, shocks, etc. You can switch them out every year for free. If you pay a shop to replace the parts, ask them what their price for part is. If they allow you to bring your own parts in it will usually save you considerably. I just saved $90.00 by getting the free brake pads (lifetime warranty) and having the shop take the brake pad charge off my invoice.
- If you see a red light ahead and you don’t have anyone following you, coast to the stop light. If you do this right you may not have to come to a complete stop at all before the light turns green and will save money on the acceleration. And when stopped at a red light that turns green accelerate smoothly rather than gunning the engine which burns a lot of fuel.
- Staying below 3 RPMs on your car gauge (esp. on highway/freeway driving) will save you money by burning fuel efficiently.
- Wash and vacuum your own car.
- For older vehicles, evaluate whether you really need collision coverage. If your car is worth less than your deductible (or close to it) it is often the best choice to pay for the much less expensive liability only coverage.
- Take advantages of discounts like AAA or other money saving organizations.
- Only go to trusted highly-rated car repair shops. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest car mechanics out there. I’ve been burned multiple times (costing me thousands). Now I stick with one shop that has hundreds of 5 star reviews and that have proven to me that they have my best interest in mind.
- Keep your car engine tuned and tires full of the correct air pressure to save money on gas.
- Carpool with co-workers and split the cost of gas.
- Price match insurance rates with multiple competitors and ask for any discounts that may apply to you. Homeowners discount, student discount, etc.
- Utilize your car insurance. If you need a rock chip repair or window shield replacement, many insurances cover some or all of these costs.
- Turn your vehicle on for a few minutes to warm it up before driving it in cold weather.
- Keep track of your speeding or accident tickets. When they come off your record (3 years from the date they went on) you can reapply for and get lower insurance rates.
- If you are planning on buying a car soon look to buy a used one from a local owner. Unlike dealerships, home owners don’t have any overhead, employees, buildings etc. relating to the sale of their car. It is almost always a much better deal buying used through a private seller. Banks have relatively hassle free loans and financing on privately sold/bought cars.
- Register your car for multiple years at a time if there is a discount in doing so. Some states offer a significant discount by registering for two or more years instead of one. If you know you aren’t moving out of state in the next few years this would be a great option to save.
- Buy the most reliable cars from the get go. After spending $6,000+ in repairs in the first year of owning our LandRover, we decided to get rid of it.
We would have been happier with one of these reliable ‘horse cars’ because our LandRover was always in the shop! So instead of continuing to fork over thousands to the repair shops, we bought a much more highly-rated-as-reliable Nissan.Thankfully, we have had few expensive repairs in the few years we have owned it. Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Honda and other highly-rated-for-reliability brands are the best way to go for those who do not want to spend additional money fixing their vehicles.
- Do your own car repairs or trade a trusted friend to do it. Often car repairs are extremely expensive. If you can fix the problem or know someone who would help you fix it, you will save a lot of money. YouTube is an awesome resource for videos that show you how to fix just about anything.
- Pay your car off as soon as possible. You can often lower your insurance rates if you have the title in your possession. Also, once you have your vehicle paid off it becomes an asset.
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What have you done to save money on your vehicles?