Want to Save Money on Your Car?
20+ Budgeting Tips for Your Car
Many of us use cars to get around. But, did you know when we use our car we might be throwing money out the window without even realizing it?
Fuel costs, maintenance, insurance, and taxes are inevitable expenses that need to be accounted for when you own or lease a car. Many of us depend on our car to get us to work, appointments, activities, etc. So, it is important to maximize the most out of our investment.
At some point in our adult lives, we will need to replace our vehicles. Therefore, it is important to be informed about all of your options and how much the car you are looking at is worth before you approach a seller. I expect new cars to be reliable, safe, and last for 15-20 years. After all, you are shelling out a significant amount of money.
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Saving on Fuel
~In many states, gas prices are cheaper in the middle of the week.
~Fill up at gas stations that give you a discount because you have a grocery store card, their credit card…
~See if it is cheaper to pay in cash at the gas station. However, ATM fees can be very high. (Try to avoid using ATMs where you have fees.)
~Refer to your car manual to see whether you can use a lower grade of gas.
~Make sure you have enough air in your tires.
~Replace air and fuel filters on a regular basis.
~Use Cruise Control on the highway. This saves on fuel because you are traveling at a steady speed.
~Don’t put heavy things in your car if you can avoid it.
~Drive the speed limit. (You won’t get an expensive speeding ticket, and it is more cost effective in gas.)
~Get your tires aligned. Doing this saves on fuel and tire damage.
Buying a New or Used Car
~Shop around and compare prices online. Look at Blue Book® values. Be knowledgeable before you approach the seller in person.
~Only buy what you can afford. If you default on a loan, it can ruin your credit. A vehicle is supposed to get you from one place to another in a reliable and safe way. So, you might have to hold back on many of the bells and whistles if you cannot afford it. (It is better to have a simple car than to not have reliable transportation.)
~Negotiate the cost with the seller. Try to negotiate to get the most money for your trade-in (if you have one).
~Buy a hybrid or smaller car if you can- This will save you a bunch of money on gas over time.
~Please think twice before buying a luxury car. Maintenance fees, the regular cost of higher grade fuel prices, and many times, the higher cost of tires make getting a new or used luxury or sports car prohibitive. (This goes back to it is better to have a simple reliable car.)
~Don’t buy a used car with high mileage on the odometer. Look at its history carefully. These used cars can rack up huge amounts in repairs. (Sometimes more than the car, and then you need to buy a replacement with less money.)
~Look over the fine print for financing a car. Watch out for high percentages and unreasonable terms / or terms you know you will not be able to follow through on.
~Make sure you are clear about the terms of the sale. If you are buying from an individual, make sure you get the title and a receipt/documentation that you have paid for the car.
~Dealerships will try to sell you everything and the kitchen sink. Only get the items that you think are necessary, and that you can afford. (Think about the cost-effectiveness of any bells and whistles and extended warranties.)
Maintenance and Insurance
~Maintain your vehicles, so you do not need to make repairs that are astronomically expensive.
~Make sure you have enough car insurance to cover an accident. (Many times it is cheaper to bundle home and auto insurance.)
~Check out The Official US Government Source for Fuel Economy for more savings tips and ideas.
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