Smart Driving: 3 Tips to Save on Car Expenses

Transportation today has progressed in a way that you many would have never imagined. From horse-driven carriages and coal-powered trains, to cutting edge automobiles and flying vehicles of different forms, modes of transportation has definitely proven to be instrumental to mankind’s development. Today, it is quite uncommon to find a household without a family car, or at least know someone directly who has one, since it has become a primary necessity more than ever. The same convenience is provided by cars to people who travel to places for work, school or leisure.

Just imagine yourself ready to go home late at night, exhausted from work, and still having to wait in line for public transportation. The time you would have spent sleeping and resting for next day’s work is spent waiting for the bus. With this in mind, a car’s comfort and accessibility is irreplaceable during these moments.

Although the usefulness of a car has long been established, it is likely that you have to face the financial reality of having the privilege to drive a vehicle. This should be taken with much gravity since owning a personal automobile can be a double-edged sword. Make sure you are well equipped with conveniently owning a car, and take note of these tips to make your life much easier:

Car Insurance is a Big Thing

One element that usually goes unnoticed in owning a car is having car insurance. While it may cause a certain financial burden before you may actually get its benefit, insurance guarantees financial security on so many levels. Overall, car insurances is a must-have, and it would do you good if you take this to heart.

Car insurance protects you from personal liability should you be in an accident. Aside from the legal requirements, long standing protection is the main reason you want car insurance. If you are in an accident and you are at fault, you can be held personally responsible for the medical bills should anyone be injured or major monetary compensation if a person is killed in the incident. Depending on the amount of the compensations, you might spend the rest of your natural life paying them off. These costs can all but ruin most families.

On a personal level, just imagine this scenario.

You are on your way to a Dodger’s game. As part of your usual routine, you decide to park a few blocks from the arena to make sure you are in and out after the game. After all the fun and excitement at the game, you finally return to your usual spot, and you see your car door smashed in! At that point, even the best Dodgers ticket prices at Barry’s Tickets could calm your soul after the shock.

If you do not have insurance, similarly, chances are you are on your way to face a huge hit to your personal finances. This may mean selling your home, selling your stocks and bonds, or selling other assets in order to pay the costs. It can also mean years of future payments in the event you cannot pay all your obligations at once, which most people simply cannot do.

Conversely, in the unfortunate case that you get injured in a vehicular accident, and the person at fault cannot pay, your own car insurance usually helps with those payments you might immediately need. In addition, depending on the type of car insurance that you have, your vehicle can be repaired or replaced, thus saving you the out of pocket expense of replacing it yourself.

The bottom-line is that you need car insurance to lessen any applicable financial burden that may come along with using your car.

Learn Fuel Economy

With gas prices on a constant roller coaster ride, it makes more and more sense to wring the most miles you can out of every gallon. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to ditch your current vehicle or buy sketchy “miracle products” to realize better fuel economy. Fuel up the smart way, and learn the techniques on how to save it.

Even before you turn the key, fire up your computer and visit the website FuelEconomy.gov to research gas prices in your area. It’s not uncommon to find variations of several cents per gallon at stations that are just blocks apart. This is especially true around major highways and newly developed, high-rent neighborhoods versus more modest areas.

Smartphone apps like Waze provide real-time data and take accidents, road closures or other travel delays into account, so you aren’t wasting gas idling or following detours that take you too far out of your way. Download and learn how to use this app and any other similar app so that you can take an alternative route when needed.

If you want more bang for your buck, fill your tank in the morning or at night. Even if it means leaving home a few minutes early on your weekday commute, do it. Likewise, if you’re out in the evening and just want to get home, schedule a little extra time to fill up. Why bother with these odd-hour detours instead of filling up during the day when it’s more convenient? Gas expands with heat. You actually get less gas when you fill your tank during the day, because of the expansion and additional fumes. It’s also common for price changes to occur around midmorning.

Finally, it is not good if you wait until the arrow is nearly pointing at “empty,” since you might be stuck going to whatever gas station is closest – not cheapest. Get into a routine of filling up the tank when it’s still a quarter full so that you can choose which gas station to go to. Figure out what gas stations in your area regularly have the cheapest gas, and head on out there promptly.

Never go Cheap on Maintenance

It is obvious that car maintenance is an integral facet in your car ownership. However, the common notion is that car maintenance and repairs would just cost you unnecessary dollars. While maintenance and tuning can be monetarily painful at the start, it brings more benefits to you in the future than you can imagine.

There are several car maintenance measures that you have to do to keep your car at its best. It is important to bring your car to an auto service and have it checked.

Have your engine checked regularly. Remember that the engine is the heart of your car; with a busted engine, your car is useless. Having your engine checked regularly can ensure you that it is working properly, and it is up to speed. Also, it is important to check your car transmission.

Checking the brakes should also be part of your basic car maintenance. It is highly suggested that you seek the assistance of a good mechanic to have your brakes checked. Remember that maintenance of your brakes is important for safety reasons. Low brake fluid levels can cause soft brake pedals.

To maintain safety and reduce the cost of car repair, it is important that you have your car inspected regularly. Regular mechanical inspection should be done. A visual inspection of your automotive may prove to be insufficient, since many components of your car cannot be inspected visually.

 

All in all, maintenance is an important element in your ownership to get the best out of every mile.