Anyone who owns a car realizes that there are numerous expenses besides gas, oil and insurance. The bright side of things is that you can easily reduce your recurring vehicle expenses with just a small amount of effort. Minimizing gasoline use, getting a better deal on insurance rates, driving safety and opting for any policy discounts you qualify for are just a sampling of the options you have for cutting car expenses. Here’s a look at some of the most common ways people slice dollars off the operating costs of owning a car or truck:
Have a Professional Inflate Your Tires Correctly
Tire pressure is a bit trickier than most folks realize. Depending on where you live, what the average road conditions are and how heavy your vehicle is, you might need to adjust the pressure several times per year. Contrary to popular belief, there is no single, ideal tire pressure for a particular brand or size of car tire.
What’s the answer? Visit a licensed professional a few times each year and have your air pressure set properly. Pros know all the factors that need to be taken into account, and getting the setting right will mean up to a 10 percent better fuel efficiency. That translates into $500 less in gas expenses just by getting one simple number, the pounds per square inch of pressure, right.
Optimize Your Insurance Coverage
Auto insurance is one category that can yield plenty of savings for the average vehicle owner, which makes it important to weigh your auto insurance options. This strategy involves making sure you are getting all the discounts you are entitled to. Speak with an agent and compare rates. Many people discover that a safe driver discount can save them hundreds of dollars per year. In addition, decide what kind and amount of coverage you need. If your car is bank-owned, you’ll likely need comprehensive protection. Otherwise, a less costly liability policy will be enough.
Always spend time with your agent in order to find out what all the options are. Before you decide and sign up for a particular policy, be sure you ask not only about safe driver but also low-mileage discounts. There are also lower rates for cars that have high-tech safety features like collision avoidance and blind-spot apps.
Avoid Cruising at Speeds Above 55 MPH
Whenever you set your cruise control to a speed above 55 MPH, your fuel efficiency goes down. At speeds between 20 and 55 MPH, cruising uses gasoline in the most advantageous way. Always consider safety first, but if have a choice of a cruise speed on the open highway, remember that 55 MPH is the cutoff point between efficient and non-efficient fuel use.
Don’t Drive Aggressively
Studies have shown that driving aggressively burns up huge amounts of fuel, compared with non-aggressive driving styles. Rapid starts, speeding up and slowing down when not necessary, sharp turning and most unorthodox driving styles eat up gasoline at a quick rate. Looking at the annual impact of this type of driving, experts say you can burn about 12 percent less gasoline just by obeying traffic laws and operating your car in a sensible manner.