While a personal car provides commuting convenience from one location to the next, vehicle ownership can be expensive. From the initial purchasing cost, gas, insurance payments, and the routine and maintenance expenses, a car can be a sore point, especially when you are struggling to make ends meet or living under a budget. Read on for five tips for trimming your car expenses to put money back in your pocket.
1. Lower your auto insurance premiums
Auto insurance is a legal requirement in most states and can help you deal with the financial consequences of a car accident. However, your monthly insurance rates can cause a significant dent in your wallet, so you should find ways to lower your premium rates to trim your car expenses. The following are tips to reduce your monthly insurance premiums:
- Shop around and compare quotes from different auto insurance companies to get insurers who will cover you for less
- Change your policy
- Take a defensive driving course to get premium deductions
- Bundle your insurance
- Increase your deductibles
2. Consider ride-sharing or using public transport
Consider using public transport instead of your family car to reduce your car expenses. According to the American Public Transportation Association, you could save up to $816 monthly by using public transit to commute. If you and your coworkers live in the same neighborhood, ride-sharing is also an effective money-saving opportunity, especially when the fuel costs are shared.
Ride sharing or using public transit can also help you cut back on expenses such as repair and maintenance due to wear and tear and parking costs which often add up quickly. Check out WhereiPark to find ideal spots in your preferred location in San Francisco and book your monthly parking at affordable rates.
3. Purchase a used car
If you are considering purchasing a car, consider buying a used vehicle instead of a new one. A new vehicle loses 20% to 30% of its value in the first year of purchase, so you could end up paying more than the vehicle’s worth. However, a second-hand car has already depreciated, and its resale value matches the vehicle’s current condition. This allows you to get the total value for your money without compromising quality.
4. Consolidate down to a few vehicles
Most families have multiple cars, some of which they rarely use. This increases monthly car expenses because even when you do not use the vehicles, you still have to insure, maintain and register them. For this reason, you should establish which cars are essential for your family and then trade the rest to trim your vehicle expenses.
5. Perform routine maintenance
Be sure to perform regular car maintenance, including changing the car’s fluids, pads, and belts, according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. This prolongs your car’s lifespan and prevents major costly repairs. Hire a technician to perform regular car inspections to catch issues and fix them before they escalate into expensive emergency repairs.
You do not have to break your bank to own and maintain a car. Buy a used car, reduce your insurance premiums, consolidate to a few vehicles, use public transit, consider carpooling, and keep up with regular maintenance to reduce your monthly car expenses.