As some of you may remember, my daughter Rose is about to turn 16 years old and start driving. That fact got me researching the Internet to get safety and car insurance tips online. I also started to learn about how to save cash when driving your car. I’ve assembled more than 15 cost saving tips below that will help you become a frugal driver.
I’ve come up with information on cutting driving costs and offer them below under four categories: insurance, fuel, repair and maintenance. Taken together, these tips can really save drivers a lot of money. Use them to your benefit.
Frugal for Car Insurance
For some reason, many people do very little research on car insurance costs. Some simply use the same agent their family has used for years or find someone in the phonebook or on the Internet without checking out prices. The web is the perfect place to comparison shop for car insurance and to also get free health insurance quotes. It doesn’t take long and you’ll learn a lot and probably save some real money.
Cut Fuel Costs
I found some great ways to cut down on gas costs and most are very simple. Here are five.
- Walk or bike rather than drive. If you can, this will save money and work towards improving your health.
- Use regular gas unless your car manual says otherwise.
- When driving at high speeds, keep your windows closed and air conditioning off. Both will increase fuel efficiency. Try using your vents to cool the interior of your vehicle.
- Proper inflation of tires can save you money by increasing gas mileage. For every pound your tires are under inflated you lose 2% off your fuel mileage.
- If in line of waiting for someone for 45 seconds or longer, shut off the engine. Idling for extended periods of time eats up gas.
If you’re at the drive through and there’s a delay simply turn off the engine. Don’t start it until it’s time to move. It’s that simple.
Keep Repair Costs Down
Everyone complains about car repair costs. Let’s face it, they never happen at a good time and they always cost more than you hoped they might. Here are a few things that you can do to keep costs low.
- Do your research and buy vehicles that are inexpensive to fix and have good repair records.
- Make sure you follow the car’s maintenance schedule.
- Know some of the basic about car repair; if you don’t understand cars and how they work, take someone with you to the shop who does. Know what is being repaired and why. You may not need to get it done now or at all.
- Go to a reputable shop recommended by friends and relatives. Word of mouth is one of the best references in this area.
- Prior to ever needing a repair call around and see how much different shops are charging for brakes, timing belts and other such repairs.
Education is key when it comes to being a smart consumer of car repair services. It’s up to you to get the facts.
Proper Maintenance Can Save You Money
Maintenance is an area where all of us can save money. Here are five useful tips that make for a frugal driver.
- Perform basic maintenance, such as oil changes, air filter replacement, and tire rotation, in a timely manner. This practice will save you money.
- If you can replace air filters, lamps, oil filters yourself, then do so. But only if you know what you’re doing.
- Don’t forget to rotate your tires. They will wear longer and give you better mileage.
- Look for sales on tires and purchase them ahead of time. Eventually you’ll use them.
- Change engine oil on time. This will keep your engine’s moving parts lubricated properly, cutting down on wear and tear and extending its life.
What Do You Do?
Okay, now it’s time for you to have your say. Tell me what you do to save cash when driving your car. Is there anything that I missed? I’d really love to hear from you. After all, there’s nothing like saving money. Right?
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer living in Austin Texas with her husband and two daughters. She uses the Internet to research articles and to find great deals, saving her family a lot of cash along the way. Melissa writes about a variety of topics, including insurance, cooking and the outdoors. Last year, she and the family went rafting down the Colorado River. It was a spectacular experience that they will never forget. These days, she’s preparing for her eldest daughter’s first driving lesson.
Earnest Parenting: tips for parents who want to be frugal drivers.
Photo provided courtesy of Live Laugh Love via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.