With the price of gas rising, drivers are having to reconsider their budgets. It doesn’t help that the cost of everything else is going up too. For many, the prospect of using public transport instead of driving daily looms large. Even if you don’t enjoy driving, that may be something you really wish to avoid.
Keeping this in mind, you may be wondering if you can cut back on car expenses. The good news is that there are some hacks you can use to lower your costs as a driver. Here are some of the most common.
Get cheaper car insurance
When driving, auto insurance is a must-have. Third-party insurance, at least, is mandatory in most states, but driving an expensive car without theft and collision insurance is unwise. Unfortunately, car insurance is an added expense that you cannot cut from your budget. However, there are ways to lower your insurance.
If your premium is not about to be increased, now may not be the best time to shop around for insurance. After all, inflation has driven costs sky high and insurers will cost accordingly. But if your insurer is going to increase your premium, compare auto insurance to find the cheapest price.
There are other ways to decrease the price of your insurance. You can do so by taking a defensive driving course and thereby lowering your risk profile. You can also cut back on things like car rental reimbursement and enhanced glass windscreen coverage, although you may end up regretting this.
Avoid driving small distances
Stop-start driving is the most fuel heavy. For this reason, it is when you are driving around doing errands that you use up the most gas. The best way to avoid this is to use other options to go these small distances. If a store is close enough to walk, that may be a good option. If you have a bike and enjoy riding, you can save a lot of money. Public transport can also lighten the load.
Use your car when you need to go far, and you'll benefit by keeping your fuel efficiency high. Alternatively, consider investing in an electric vehicle.
Refinance your auto loan
When you bought your car, you may not have gotten the best deal on your auto loan. This may be due to your financial circumstances at the time, your credit score, or simply because you did not know how to do your due diligence. In this case, refinancing what remains of your auto loan can save you a lot of money on interest.
Contact your loan provider to see if they offer any refinancing options. Shop around at different lenders to compare what interest rates are on offer.
Do your own maintenance
There are some people who are able to do car repairs with their own skill sets, but this does come with a risk. If you do a poor job, you may void your warranty or even lower the amount your insurer will pay on a claim. However, doing maintenance is a different matter.
Maintenance includes things like checking your tire pressure, changing oil, replacing wiper blades and fluid, replacing headlights and spark plugs, and even rotating your own tyres. Of course, only do these things yourself if you are confident in your skills and knowledge. Consult an expert if you are unsure, as you do not want to risk driving your car with only some confidence that it will go right.
Drive more slowly
For people who love going fast (although not speeding), saving money on gas comes at the cost of the experience of driving. One of the biggest ways to save on gas when you are driving distances is by going relatively slowly. The faster you go, and the more you rev your engine, the more gas you consume. Taking a leisurely drive may not be your idea of fun, but it can mean you end up at the gas station far less often.
Saving money on your car expenses has become crucial with high gas prices. The above tips should help cut down some of the unnecessary costs.