Owning a car is a necessary evil for many people. While most people need a car to get to their jobs, the doctor and other obligations, owning a vehicle is an expensive endeavor. From insurance to taxes and repairs, it seems that cars are constant sources of expenses. Read on to discover 5 tips for saving money on your car to take some of the pain out of automobile ownership.
Buy a used car
Not only do used cars cost less than new cars, used cars also cost less in taxes. Excise tax on a new car can be several hundred dollars, but a model that’s a few years old or more may cost less than $100 in many areas. These savings aren’t insignificant for most families, especially multi-car households.
Buying used will also save you on sales tax, but you may find yourself making repairs sooner. The key is to find a used car that is up-to-date on mileage services to avoid having to do any expensive repairs right away. Look for certified used vehicles at reputable dealers for the best value.
Build a relationship with your shop
Whether you use a small repair garage or a dealer, it’s important to be a repeat customer. Look for a shop you trust and then take your car to them for all of the oil changes, mileage services and repairs. Repeat customers tend to get better pricing than new or occasional customers.
Shop around for repairs
While it’s important to build a relationship with your shop, it never hurts to shop around and barter. If you like your mechanic, but not his price, call around and see what others are charging for the service. If you find a shop that’s doing it for less, let your mechanic know and ask him to meet or beat the price. You’d be surprised how much leeway there is in pricing on automotive repairs and shopping around can save you big bucks.
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Find a cheap gas station
One of the most frequently occurring expenses is for gas. Filling up the tank can be hard on your budget, so finding a cheap gas station on your way to work can save you a lot of money. Even if you just save $5 on a tank of gas, that $5 each week over the course of the year adds up to hundreds of dollars.
Do your own detailing
While it’s nice to have someone else take care of the upholstery stains and cheerios spilled in the back seat, detailing is an expense you don’t need to incur. Most people have the tools and know-how in their own homes to do a passable detailing job on their vehicles which can save a significant amount of money. Best of all, after the initial cost of supplies, you can do several details without any added expenses.
Saving money on your car expenses can add up to significant savings over time. Cars are a necessity for most people, so it’s important to make the required transportation as affordable as possible. Cut down on your transportation costs and save yourself money each time you turn put the car in park.