It stands to reason that owning a car is one of your most significant ongoing expenses. While it is great to have the freedom and peace of mind from knowing you are in control of your transportation, that doesn’t make the costs associated any easier to take. In terms of gas prices alone, we are talking about hundreds of dollars a month.
Then you throw in the costs of car maintenance. It isn’t hard to understand why so many of us are struggling to keep up with these expenses from one month to the next. Potential savings can vary from one person to the next. Nonetheless, there several easy hacks to cut car expenses that you can implement right now. Our cars bring us a lot of joy and satisfaction.
Here are 6 hacks to help you cut car expenses, making it easier to focus on the benefits of having your own wheels:
Keep your car for a little longer:
Cars get more expensive every year. They also depreciate quickly. Trading frequently can cause you to lose money in the long run. Holding on to a good car for five to seven years can save anywhere from four hundred to a thousand dollars in a single year.
Check your gas cap:
Believe it or not, but nearly 150-million gallons of gasoline are lost each year, due to gas caps that are broken, missing, or improperly placed. Check your gas cap for any of these issues.
What about a smaller model:
Some people turn up their noses at smaller cars. However, if you consider yourself to be such a person, we would strongly consider changing your stance on the issue. They tend to be cheaper to start with. They also tend to boast better fuel mileage. Finally, the insurance for smaller cars is often cheaper than what one pays for their larger counterparts. Taking all of this into account, going with a smaller car can save you upwards of six hundred dollars a year.
Changing the oil/oil filter:
This is something that should be handled every three thousand miles or so. A lot of us know this, but we balk at the thought of paying for these things. Even if your manual suggests longer, three thousand is a good rule of thumb for everyone. It saves hundreds, even thousands, on vehicle maintenance, as well as engine wear-and-tear.
Balance the tires once a year:
Again, we are talking about spending a little bit of money in the present. At the same time, we are also talking about saving thousands and thousands of dollars over the long term. Tires that aren’t balanced properly can wear down the shock absorbers, while also causing damage to your suspension. You can also hundreds of miles to the lifespan of your tires by protecting the treads.
It isn’t everyone’s favorite option, but it can save you a couple hundred a year on gas costs alone. Those are savings for just one person. Ride with two people, and you stand to save even more. You don’t even have to do this every day. Going the carpool route even a couple of times a week can help you cut down on costs. You should also think about it in the sense of maintenance. Using your car just a little less can diminish the amount of abuse your car goes through from one week to the next.