Driving a car can often feel more like a chore than a joyful experience it is supposed to be. Sure, we need to use our cars more often than ever nowadays, but this shouldn’t suck the fun out of motoring.
Unfortunately, with this excessive use has come a rise in costs for running a household car. Therefore, it can often feel like you shouldn’t be using your vehicle at all. There are ways that you can mitigate these costs; however, so read on to find out how you can save yourself money as a car owner.
Pick The Right Insurance
The first step to owning a car is insuring yourself in case you are involved in an accident. It is illegal to drive without car insurance in most parts of the United States of America. Being caught without it can result in a fine, or even having your licence taken away.
However, the cost of car insurance is always skyrocketing. This lofty expense is often the reason why a lot of young drivers are unable to use the roads. That is why it is best to shop for the best deal possible. This does not mean that you are stuck with one insurance provider forever, though.
Some providers will hike up their prices for existing customers, while other companies can lower theirs for new ones. Just because you have signed on to one insurance provider does not mean that you can’t switch once your contract is up. In fact, this is probably the best time to view and haggle quotes from other providers. Keeping an eye on the market and negotiating a new quote each year is a great way to lower your insurance premium.
Another mandatory part of owning a car is regularly fueling it. Most roadworthy vehicles have become more fuel-efficient in recent years; however, that hasn’t stopped the price of this fuel from rising.
You can be clever with your usage and shop around for the best prices. Supermarkets are renowned for having lower fuel prices than most other places. Although, there are other ways to drive that can lower the amount of fuel that you use.
One method is by driving on new tires. Worn tires can cause your vehicle to drag, which means that the car has to work harder to move you along. This means that it needs to use more fuel. New tires are easy to come by and aren’t as expensive to fit. Just look at all the ones available at Paul Campanellas Auto & Tire Centre. What’s more, replacing your tires regularly will be more cost-effective in the long run.
Another way to maximize fuel usage is by avoiding carrying heavy loads. Again, these loads will cause your car to work harder. Check your car’s carry capacity and only exceed this amount when it is necessary.
Use Your Smartphone To Your Advantage
The smartphone has to be the most successful invention of the last fifty years. Almost everyone owns one, and they can be used for calls, texts, to access the internet and so much more. However, you must be thinking that these devices can’t possibly save you money on your car. That is where you would be wrong.
Firstly, there are loads of apps out there to help the average driver in more ways than one. Some apps can pinpoint the cheapest places to park, while others are designed to map out the most cost-effective route for a journey. The latter can be especially useful when driving around somewhere new.
Furthermore, you can also invest in a smartphone holder for your dashboard. This might not seem like a necessary gadget; however, you can be pulled over by the cops and fined just for being spotted with a phone in your hand while driving. Yes, this can even happen if you are using your smartphone as a GPS device. It isn’t fair, but you can protect yourself from these laws by parking your phone in a holder and leaving it alone. This way, you can still use all of your handy apps without the risk of being penalized.
Ditch The Car Wash
As a driver, you will probably want to keep your car as clean as possible. The most convenient solution for achieving this goal is by visiting the car wash and letting the automated service do the job for you. Unfortunately, this process costs money. You have to pay for the car wash and the fuel used to get there. Why not shrug these expenses by cleaning the car yourself?
Cleaning the car on your drive is a great way to save a few pennies, and it is a more eco-friendly use of water. What’s more, setting aside this time can also allow you to clear up the insides. This is one area a car wash can’t get to, and one area we often neglect most. Ditching the car wash can save you some money, and give you better peace of mind.
Check The Weather
Different types of weather will often affect our driving style. Icy roads will cause us to slow down, and lashings of rain will make us pay more attention to our surroundings. However, the weather can also have a profound effect on the cost of your car.
Extremely cold weather affects the efficiency of your car. Driving off at rate of knots in the cold is going to use up twice the amount of fuel as this is needed to warm up the engine. Start slowly to allow the car the opportunity to warm up first. This can save you money on fuel, and possibly repairs to your engine.
Secondly, it may seem like a good idea to remove the excess ice on your windscreen with the wipers; however, this can damage or remove some of their effectiveness. Try to use warm water or de-icer to melt the ice and wait patiently. Ice is a pain, especially if it is keeping you from reaching your destination. However, rushing to get rid of it will do more harm than good. Sadly, it seems you will have to get up earlier in the morning to sort out this issue.
Lastly, summer can be just as detrimental to your car as winter. A hot day can cause your engine to overheat, absorbing key liquids and possibly stopping it from working altogether. A good way to avoid this problem is by removing some of the excess heat from the area. It may sound insane, but putting the heating on will divert a lot of hot air away from the engine and into the car. Keep your windows open to dispel this air. If it is too warm for this trick, try stopping in the shade as often as possible. It may take a while to get where you need to be, but that is better than forking out on roadside assistance.
The rising costs that come with owning a car are unlikely to slow down any time soon. However, these tips should help you reduce the large costs associated with your vehicle, so you can carry on and enjoy your road trips in the future.