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Don't Let Your Car Be a Money Suck

You love your vehicle and are thankful for the luxury of being able to drive versus walk on those rainy days and how simple it is to make a quick run to the store for movie night popcorn, but having a car is costly. Sometimes it feels as though you’d be better off without a car, for the financial relief alone. If this sounds like the boat you’re in, it may be time to take a closer look at your car and things you may be doing that are costing you more money. The number of ways to save will surprise you.

Take a Good Gander at Your Insurance Provider

One of the most costly aspects to having a vehicle is that dreaded car insurance. If you want to drive, you need insurance. The problem is: most people don’t spend time shopping around and comparing rates. By simply going with one of the first companies you come across, you are locking yourself into a provider that may not actually be the best solution for you. There are a large number of insurance companies throughout the globe and no two work exactly the same. It never hurts to call around, even if you think you have decent rates because company policies change, and so does your risk factor. The longer you’ve been on the road, the lower your rates are going to be. If you’ve had an outstanding record and haven’t notice a decrease, it is definitely time to start looking at your other options. Ask about company discounts because your marital status, occupation and age all play into how much you are asked to pay.

Nurture Your Vehicle

Having the right insurance to fit your lifestyle is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving money on your vehicle. Treat your car right and she is going to be nice to your wallet in return. Remember all of those maintenance recommendations you received from your manufacturer? While they may seem like yet another way for companies to get your money, they are there for a reason. A car with proper fluid levels, clean spark plugs, tires that are regularly rotated and correct alignment is going to cost you far less in repairs than one that is neglected. As you notice troubling sounds or something that doesn’t feel quite right, speak to a professional. The quicker you pinpoint a problem, the less damage you risk being caused to your vehicle. Being a regular at a single vehicle repair shop is your best bet because they will help you track all of your car needs and have an in-depth record of your visits. Selling your baby may not be on your mind today but a properly maintained vehicle is going to be much easier to sell than one that has issues due to mistreatment.

Are You Wasting Gas?

There are many ways drivers, no matter how experienced they may be, waste gas on a daily basis. While the most obvious solution would be to check out local gas prices before filling up, there are many other little things you can do in order to extend your gas tank.

Sitting outside your mother’s house with the car running waiting for her to grab a few items before heading out the door might not seem like a very big deal, but when you’re distracted – maybe listening to the radio – a short five minutes can quickly become fifteen. In that amount of time, you can easily waste a few dollars worth of gas. Another gas suck occurs with aggressive driving. Maybe you are in a rush or following too closely (since mom took longer than expected to get ready) – those sudden braking and moments of acceleration use far more gas than a casual increase and decrease in speed. As much as possible, give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going and avoid being too close to the cars in front of you so you have additional time to reduce your speed. When you can, allow your car to coast to a stop or take it out of gear when approaching red lights. Those short distances of minimal gas use can quickly turn into blocks or even miles throughout the week.

What you carry in your vehicle makes a difference and that doesn’t just pertain to the people and objects you have in your car. The heavier your car, the more gas you are going to use. So, avoid being tempted to fill her all the way up and you are greatly reducing your gas cost each and every time you go to the pump. While there, only use premium gas if required by your manufacturer, otherwise you are spending unnecessarily. And, when the pump indicates your tank is full, trying to ‘top off’ isn’t actually adding more gas to your tank but you are still being charged.

Written on Friday, January 17, 2014 by
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