Reduce Car Expenses
Car expenses often consume a large part of disposable income. Substantial reductions in car expenses can be achieved by considering these options:
- Downsize vehicle(s)
- Reduce the number of vehicles in the household
- Use public transport
- Walk or cycle instead when you can, extra benefit - You get Fit!
- Plan journeys to avoid unnecessary trips
Buy the Right Car
Buy only enough car for your needs. The bigger and fancier the car, the bigger the ticket, and the higher the running cost. It's your choice, financial freedom or fancy car. Select a model that combines low price with low depreciation, financing,insurance,fuel consumption,maintenance and repair costs. Do your research.
Shop around - Use the internet and phone to get quotes, let them know you are shopping for the best price. You can make big savings on your chosen model.
If you are purchasing second-hand
- Compare the asking price with the average retail price in a "blue book" or other car guide. These can usually be found in libraries,banks and credit unions.
- Have the car checked out by a mechanic
If considering auto leasing
- Remember, leasing payments are often lower than a traditional auto loan because you don't own the car. You have to purchase it at the end of the lease if you want to keep it.
- Car leasing is complicated - an excellent souce of information is found in "Keys To Vehicle Leasing: A Consumer Guide". Published by the Fedral Reserve Board and Federal Trade Commission.
- Buy your car in cash, you will save several thousand dollars in finance charges. If you need finance always go for the shortest term possible to reduce interest charges.
- If you require finance, do a rate check from your bank or credit union before considering dealer financing. You could save several 1000's.
- Always work out all the permutations, often accepting zero or low-rate finance may mean that you don't get any rebate. Do the maths!
- Purchasing auto insurance from a licensed, low-cost insurer can save hundreds of dollars. Contact your state insurance department for a list of the typical prices charged by different companies. Then contact several of them and compare their prices for the same coverage.
- Consider raising your deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage to at least $500, or if your car is old, dropping the coverage altogether. Get advice from your auto insurance agent.
Auto Repairs & Maintenance
It is easy to get ripped-off by unscrupulous garages and mechanics. Consumers lose billions every year. To ensure you get good honest service and repairs; find a skilled, honest mechanic before you need repairs.
Look for a mechanic who:
- is well established and certified
- comes recommended by someone you know, who has had good work done
- is clear about repair options and costs.
- Compare gasoline prices, pump it yourself and use the lowest octane permitted for your vehicle.
- Keep you foot off the gas, drive steady, avoid excess acceleration and braking to save fuel consumption
- Keep the engine tuned and tyres correctly inflated to save fuel consumption.
Tyres & Batteries
- Rotate your tyres every 6 months, this will allow the tyres to wear evenly and greatly extend their life.
- Maintain correct type pressure for better wear and fuel consumption.
- Shop around for replacement tyres and batteries
- Replace as soon as they are no longer servicable, bad tyres are unsafe a bad battery will fail at the most inconvenient time.
If you use air travel you can save substantially by shopping around the various low-cost carriers.
- Check prices on the internet.
- Buy well in advance for the best fares
- Check wich days of the week have the lowest fares