With the price of fuel skyrocketing in the global market, it is more expensive than ever to own and maintain a car. You also have to contend with traffic and the annual cost of your car insurance and parking space if you live in a metropolitan area.
How much you spend on a daily basis, no matter how small, can easily add up in a year’s time. You think you’re saving up on buying that cheap tire or getting better performance with that premium fuel. Think again! Here are nine foolproof car tips on how you can actually save money on your car expenses.
Check Your Tires
The kind of tires that you have actually impact how you drive and, consequently, how much you save. When buying new tires, you may be tempted to buy the cheaper kind. This may seem economically sound, but cheaper tires don’t perform as well as their more expensive counterparts do, which results in less fuel efficiency.
In tires, price means quality. A handful of tests show that cheaper tires often increase braking distance, or the distance the vehicle travels from the point the driver hits the brake to when the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
Don’t Buy Premium Fuel
Gas stations across the country advertise a particular type of premium fuel that supposedly offers better vehicle performance, efficient fuel combustion, and engine-cleaning capabilities. But unless you’re driving a performance vehicle, you won’t notice any noticeable changes in your car.
At the end of the day, the kind of fuel you use for your car doesn’t change its performance. It’s all marketing. You will notice, however, that you have paid a couple more dollars for something that isn’t even guaranteed. This is corroborated by a 2016 research by the American Automobile Association (AAA) that claims drivers were wasting $2.1 billion on premium fuels for standard fuel vehicles.
Drive Slowly in Cold Weather
Just like the human body, cars are less efficient in colder temperatures. The car (and the driver) has to exert more effort to successfully and safely navigate through a slushy or wet road. If this is the case, you’ll be wasting twice the fuel if you drive quickly immediately from the get-go. You’ll also be putting unwanted pressure on the engine.
Show some fatherly love to your car, and it will reward you with savings in return. You should also remember not to leave your engine idle for too long. Unlike vehicles of generations past, cars today don’t need to warm their engines.
Get Car Insurance
A car insurance is always a valuable thing to have. While it is indeed costly to pay for insurance annually, it’s also highly practical. Road accidents happen unexpectedly, and having insurance for your car reduces your cost exponentially.
Also, be wary of third-party insurance as that tends to be more expensive than fully comprehensive ones are. Third-party insurance used to be the cheapest kind since it doesn’t cover theft and damage caused by fire. When you avail of this, you’re more likely to be considered high risk, which means higher premiums.
Learn Advanced Driving
As a dad and the main driver of the family car, you know how to drive, but tweaking your habits like gradual acceleration or driving in the right gear can help you earn more mileage with less fuel. Getting advanced driving lessons can also help you with that.
Maybe you can even learn hypermiling, the art of economic driving. It is about getting as much with your fuel with how you drive on the road. It is said to be highly addictive once you get the hang of it.
Inspect Your Car Regularly
Check your car for any signs of scratches, rusting, or any irregularities on a regular basis. It is better that you deal with these problems while they’re still manageable than to pay a ton of cash later down the road when the problem has already exacerbated.
If you see early signs of rusting, for example, work on it right away because it will likely spread to other parts of the car if you don’t. You just may get yourself new Silverado 1500 fender flares if you neglect to take care that part of your car.
Clean Your Car by Yourself
Car wash services are everywhere. They don’t cost that much, depending on the kind of service you avail. You pay, and you save time and effort. Doesn’t seem like a bad decision.
But an average full-service car wash in the United States costs about $15, which may not seem much, but a car wash every two weeks for an entire year will set you back $360. You are better off washing that car of yours by yourself. And if you have kids, you can make it into a family-bonding opportunity.
Appeal Your Parking Ticket
Parking tickets are a stress, to say the least. You are fined an amount that you have to pay within 21 days. But if you feel that you have been unjustly fined with a parking ticket, you can actually appeal to the authorities.
MoneySavingExpert estimates that 56 percent of drivers who appeal their case have been successful. If you plan to do this in the future, make sure that you present a strong case with sufficient evidence that is within the terms and conditions of the supposed fine. You just might have that parking ticket overturned.
Use a Carpooling App
If you don’t have to travel far, you may as well commute to your destination instead of wasting precious fuel for a short trip. You can take advantage of the abundance of carpooling apps in the market right now, like Uber or Lyft or, if you’re in Asia, Grab.
Depending on domestic policies, carpooling apps are relatively cheaper and more convenient compared to other modes of public transportation. Plus you get to see the amount you’re going to pay before you even decide to book the trip. That’s less shock factor on your end.
Or if you have a lot of free time on your hands, you can enter yourself as a driver for the carpooling service. You earn while you drive.
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