How to Save Money on Car Expenses
Nobody ever said owning a car was cheap. First, you need to buy the car, whether it be through monthly payments of a lump sum, you also need to pay for gas, insurance, repairs, maintenance, licensing and registration fees. When these are all added up you’re easily looking at thousands of dollars every year, even if you’re not making monthly financing payments! Luckily, there are some things you can do to minimize your car expenses and in this article, we’ll go 5 of them.
1. Invest in Quality and Reliability
This first step is all about what car you decide to buy. It’s easy to overlook the reliability and overall quality of a car because you’re too focused on the looks or technology features, but don’t be fooled by a fancy navigation or audio system. On the other side of the spectrum, don’t get tricked into buying a cheaper car to save money, because the costs of repairing that vehicle could far outweigh the sticker price! Regardless of if you’re buying a new or used car, finding a vehicle that’s reliable and in good shape can keep you out of the mechanic shop and save you money.
2. Look for Fuel Efficiency
Buying a fuel-efficient car can save you thousands of dollars throughout your period of ownership. While gas prices are constantly fluctuating in Canada, it’s estimated that Canadian’s spend on average around $2,000 per year on fuel. If you’re able to find either a hybrid vehicle or a fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicle, the savings every year could be huge!
3. Be On Top of Car Maintenance
Whether you’re driving a new or used car, not taking good care of your vehicle means literally throwing money away. Be sure to stay on top of regular car maintenance like oil changes and tire pressure. Being late for these will cause problems with your vehicle and cause you to spend more money on repairs. The other part of being on top of your car’s maintenance is getting it checked any time the engine light comes on. Don’t wait for two months hoping that your engine light will magically disappear, in this period you can do significantly more damage to your car. When the light goes on, get it checked and fixed right away!
4. Drive Safely
The fourth tip to saving on car expenses is to drive your car safely. Even minor collisions can cost thousands of dollars to fix or significantly increase your insurance premium. If you are at complete or even partial fault in a car accident, expect to see your insurance costs increase 15-20%. The other reason driving safe is important is because it can save you from being pulled over for speeding or reckless driving. Not only are these dangerous, but they’re going to negatively affect your insurance rates as well, only increasing your monthly car expenses.
5. Minimize A/C Usage
Believe it or not, minimizing your air conditioning usage can save you money on fuel. Most car air conditioners are powered by the engine and it’s estimated that by using air conditioning your increasing fuel consumption by 20%. That means you could be spending a lot of extra money during the summer months. If it’s not scorching hot, try just driving with the windows down or turning off the A/C and using the recirculation mode.
Looking to buy a car?
If you’re shopping for a car, it’s important to find the right lender for financing. At Car Loans Canada, we’ll connect you with the lender best suited for your needs. Just fill out our short application and get started today!