No matter what type of vehicle you have, chances are you’re looking for ways to cut costs and save money on your expenses. Even a few pounds each month can make a savings difference at the end of the year—especially if you’re a student who’s strapped for cash and saving for your future.
Typically, vehicles are the most expensive thing that Americans own when they don’t own their own homes. For Americans that do own homes, vehicles are their second most expensive possession. According to AAA, vehicles cost their owners nearly $8,500 on average in 2017. While many costs are necessary, fortunately, there are a few ways you can curb car ownership costs.
Cut Depreciation Costs
Many vehicle owners don’t consider the cost of depreciation. Car depreciation is how much your vehicle is worth when you buy it versus its worth when you sell it. You may not realise it, but the minute you drive a car off the lot, its depreciation begins. As a general rule of thumb, the average car will depreciate between 15% to 20% each year. Depreciation is unavoidable, but there are certain things you can do to cut depreciation costs.
For instance, if you purchase a less expensive car, your depreciation costs will be lower. This might mean that you have to compromise on your dream car, but when you’re trying to save, it could be the better option. Focus on a vehicle that you need versus a vehicle that you want. Additionally, if you purchase a car that’s recently come off a lease, the person who leased it likely paid for its initial depreciation cost.
Shop for Insurance
The car insurance market is complex and pricey. It can be easy for vehicle owners to lose money because of fine print and hasty decision-making. Every year, you should reevaluate the money you’re spending on car insurance. This around the time that some policy promotions run out. You can switch to another provider for a better deal or you can talk to your insurance provider about how you can keep costs down.
In most cases, car insurers don’t want to lose you as a customer, and are willing to work with you however they can—particularly if you have a solid driving record. Some companies also offer discounts for certain vehicle features, like anti-theft devices. If you’ve undergone some safety training, it can also help score a discount.
Examine Your Maintenance Routine
Believe it or not, there are ways that you can “over maintain” and under maintain your car. For instance, if you’re changing your oil too much, you’re spending more money than necessary. On the other hand, if your vehicle warns you that you need an oil change, don’t wait too long to get it done. And while it may seem counterintuitive, consider adding onto your warranty if your current warranty policy is running out. This could save you plenty of money in the event of an unforeseen accident or circumstance.
Some warranties cater specifically to certain vehicle types, and this might be an ideal setup for you. For example, if you owned a Grand Cherokee, you might want to look into Jeep extended warranty options. Regardless of the vehicle you own, however, a good warranty can save you thousands of dollars on repairs, and when it comes to owning a vehicle, preventative measures are necessary.
Save on Gas
Fuel is one of the biggest expenses that come with vehicle ownership. For starters, do what you can to purchase a vehicle with good fuel economy. Fuel efficiency will save you plenty of money in the long run. A car that uses regular fuel will save you a significant amount of money within a year.
Watching your driving speed and style can also save; did you know that you waste more money on gas when you speed and that aggressive driving can add as much as $1 to each gallon? Paying attention to your roadside behaviour isn’t just good practice that keeps you safe, but it also helps you save. Cruise control, proper oil, and better AC/heating usage can also help you save on fuel.