10 Ways to Lower Your Monthly Vehicle Costs

Free Clipart: Opel Astra | wollebolleke

Owning a car can be one of the most expensive things in your monthly budget besides your rent or mortgage payment. That’s why I think it is important that you focus on lowering your costs of owning a vehicle as a first priority. In this post, I’m going to give a few simple tips on how to reduce your monthly costs of said vehicle. So, let’s just jump right in!

  1. Buy used – Come on now! You don’t need to spend $20,000+ on a brand spanking new vehicle! A new vehicle can depreciate up to $3,500 in the first year of ownership alone! You’re much better off buying a used vehicle with lower mileage. You definitely get more bang for your buck!
  2. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’! – This one seems obvious but you would be surprised by the amount of people where I live that think they need to keep up some sort of façade to make it look like they are doing better than they actually are! You don’t need all the bells and whistles in the vehicle you’re looking for. What you need is something reliable to get you from point A to point B. The vehicle is for you, not others.
  3. Keep your tires properly inflated. – This is increases your gas mileage because your tires are not creating as much friction against the road. This also extends the life of your tires.
  4. Make sure you properly rotate your tires. – With front-wheel drive vehicles the tires in the front tend to wear out faster than the tires in the back. The same is also true for rear-wheel drive vehicles with the tires wearing out in the back faster than in the front. Making sure you rotate your tires properly and timely allows for the wear on your tires to be distributed evenly, thus extending the life of your tires.
  5. Make sure you perform routine maintenance to your vehicle. – Get the oil changed when you’re supposed to and clean out your air filters. Make sure your tires are properly balanced and aligned. This makes sure your vehicle is functioning efficiently and can help keep your gas mileage optimal.
  6. Look for coupon deals in the mail. – I get coupons in the mail all the time for discount oil changes. This can really help if your vehicle takes the synthetic oil like mine does.
  7. Don’t speed. – Frankly, I don’t think arriving anywhere 5 minutes early is worth a speeding ticket. Those tickets are often upwards of $150! Then your insurance premiums go up for the next several months. Sure, you can go to court and try to fight it but likely the best you’ll get is the judge telling you to go spend a Saturday taking a driving course so you don’t get the points on your license. What a lot of people don’t realize is that you still have to pay the ticket price for attending the driving course on your Saturday. So just play it safe and don’t speed.
  8. Don’t be an aggressive driver. – You don’t need to put the peddle to the floor when pulling out and you don’t need to slam on the brakes to stop. It’s been proven time and time again that if you are much more relaxed while driving that you increase your gas mileage which reduces the how often you need to fill up at the pump.
  9. Shop around for insurance. – You don’t have to stick with your insurance company forever once you pick one. Often times simply comparing prices between insurance companies will save you a little extra cash every month if you end up switching. Another thing that insurance companies do for you is give you a discount on your premiums if you pay a full 6 months in advance rather than monthly. I have Nationwide Insurance and I save $5.00/month just by paying my premium for 6 months in advance.
  10. Use the discount programs that insurance companies offer. – Most insurance companies have programs that give you discounts on your premiums if you sign up and let them screen what kind of a driver you are. With Nationwide, it is called Smart Ride. They send you a little black gadget that you plug in under your steering wheel that tracks what kind of driver you are. At the end of the program, they will give you a discount if your driving habits are less risky than the average driver. Generally, the things that are tracked are how many miles you drive, hard stops, fast pull outs, and what time of day/night you drive. None of the things that they track will be used against you to increase your premiums. Therefore, you have nothing to lose when doing this program. After I finished with this program, my insurance company gave me an 18% discount off my monthly premiums so it is definitely worth a try!


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