Remember your first car? Having the freedom and flexibility of driving anywhere you wanted. It was like discovering a brand new life. Shortly after you start to realize that for all the freedom a car can offer there are many more expenses that come along with it. Having a car means more spending. Here are some ways you save money on car expenses.
Note: If you are looking for ways to save money on fuel you can check out this post.
Buy Used Instead of New
Car depreciation (loss of value) is one of the easiest ways to waste money The newness of a new car wears off very quickly for some people and what you’re left with, is a car that loses up to 20% of the value the moment you drive it off the lot. What’s worse, you typically owe more on it than it’s actually worth.
When you buy used, that depreciation is already baked into the total lower price of the car. Many people I know buy a 3-5 year old car at a great price drive it for a few years and then resell it at the same price. Buying a little older car at a good deal can have the car costing you nothing while you own it. Sounds like a dream but if you know car values it can happen.
Drive It ’Til It Dies
One of the keys to saving money on cars, is to drive your car for as long as you can. I hate a car repair bill as much as the next person, plus the inconvenience of a repair is just as bad. But, taking a $500 repair bill once every few months is far better than a $500 car payment every month for the next 5 years.
The most important reason not to speed is that it’s dangerous and you put not only your life, but the lives of others at risk.
The second most important reason not to speed, is that you will get a ticket and you will have incurred another cost.
Finally, the third most important reason not to speed, is that you will definitely save yourself some money! The speed limits are there for a reason. Save yourself some money, and possibly a life, and give up speeding.
Compare Insurance Options
There are multiple factors in your car insurance that can change the rate you pay. The one you have the most control over is the deductible. Compare rates and see if the rates you’re paying and the deductible make sense for your situation. For instance, I used to have a $200 deductible. But in reality, if I had a $400 repair I would likely pay for it rather than go through my insurance because my premiums would go up and it wouldn’t be worth it. So, I raised mine to $500, me $250 a year on my premiums.
You can look into a pay per mile option like Metromile, they are saving people tons right now if you find yourself not driving as much. People are saving upwards of $500 or more a year. Get your free quote to see if a pay per mile service is right for you.
Become a Better Driver
The more time that goes by, the better discount you will receive on your car insurance. By simply following the rules you can save big time. The longer you have a clean driving record, the higher your discount and the more money you save.
Shop for Coupons Before You Take Your Car in for Servicing
Using sites like Coupons.com or the online version of the Entertainment Book for coupons (it’s 99 cents a month and you will save big), make it worth putting in a little extra effort for a good deal.
Find a Mechanic You Trust
I’m pretty clueless about cars. To compensate for that I have found two repair places where I know the people who work there and that they have my best interest at heart. If you’re uncertain about what you need done on your vehicle, make sure to ask around, get a second opinion. The value that a good mechanic is priceless.
Selling privately is a much bigger hassle, but it’s worth it (most of the time). When you’ret rading in your old car, the dealer will make you an offer and . will typically buy your car and resell it at auction. Most dealerships aren’t in the business of buying and selling used cars, they’re focused on new ones.
When I brought our 2003 Honda CRV in to trade, they offered me $800 for it. This was less than the repairs I did on it the week before! I asked them how it could be so low when a single part on the car was worth more than that. The agent confided in me that they didn’t really want a 10 plus year old car and suggested that I might get a little more if I chose to sell it privately.
I ended up selling it for $4,200 the following week to someone online. The people buying it loved this model and were very excited about the purchase. That’s $3,400 for going the harder route. It’s more time and effort, but it was definitely worth it.
Family Money Plan Recap on Tips to Save Money On Your Car Expenses
- Buy Used Instead of New
- Drive It ’Til It Dies
- Don’t Speed…
- Compare Insurance Options
- Become a Better Driver
- Shop for Coupons Before You Take Your Car in for Servicing
- Find a Mechanic You Trust
- Sell Privately
Top Action Steps to Save on Money On Car Expenses
✅ Beginner: Find a mechanic you can trust
✅ Advanced: Sell your car privately and buy cars that you can resell at the same price later on