For many families, owning a car is a necessity. We rely on our vehicles to get us to and from work, school and events. But between fuel, maintenance and insurance, the costs of car ownership can add up quickly. Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce your car-related expenses—and some may even surprise you!
Check out these money-saving ideas for car owners:
#1: Keep up with routine car maintenance
The best vehicle is a reliable one! If you want your car to go the distance for years to come, follow a consistent maintenance schedule. Basic services like oil changes and tire rotations keep your car running smoothly and may even help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
#2: Practice good driving habits
Driving the speed limit will help you stay safer on the road and steer clear of costly tickets. Some insurance companies even offer a discount for drivers who follow traffic rules and maintain a safe driving history.
A safe driving style could also help you save on fuel. According to one study, rapid acceleration and hard braking can waste up to $1 per gallon of gas.
#3: Check your tire pressure
Want to save money at the gas pump? Start by making sure your tires are properly inflated. Underinflated tires will drop your fuel economy, and most importantly, they're unsafe. Once a month, check the pressure in all your tires, including your spare tire. Use your car owner's manual to find the correct tire pressure level.
#4: Try carpooling
Taking turns driving with co-workers, friends or neighbors is a great way to save money and time. Carpooling a few times a week will also reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle, helping to boost its resale value.
#5: Wash your car regularly
A clean car is a happy car, for many reasons. Washing and cleaning your car regularly will keep it looking its best. It will also remove the dirt, dust, and debris that can cause permanent paint damage. Especially after the winter months, wash away the road salt from the undercarriage of your vehicle. Over time, too much salt build-up can lead to corrosion and rust.
Here's another money-saving tip: Skip the automatic car wash and clean your car at home. It may take a little extra time, but you'll save money by washing your vehicle yourself!
Follow these steps, and you'll be on the road to better savings in no time! For more helpful money-saving tips, tools and resources, visit WPCU's online Education Center.