Cars are expensive. They don’t need to break the bank, though. After getting a deal on a good used car, here’s how to save money when you actually start driving it.
1. Check your tire pressure. If you don’t have much air in your tires, you’re losing gas mileage. If you’re losing gas mileage, you’re also losing money. Check your car manual for the recommended PSI for your tires and fill ‘er up. If you don’t have a pump at home, most gas stations do!
2. Paying for gas with a credit card. Using cash to pay for fuel can save you a few cents a gallon. It may not seem like a lot up front, but if you do a lot of driving, it definitely makes a significant difference. Why pay more than you have to?
3. Driving around with a grimy air filter. Driving with a dirty air filter can reduce your gas mileage by 7% after 5,000 miles. That can cost you $100 in a year! It’s an easy fix—check your car manual to see how to do it yourself.
4. Paying too much for insurance. Those Geico commercials didn’t lie: Taking 15 minutes can save you big. Get quotes from competitors to negotiate to save money on your current deal or switch out to a new one that better suits your needs.
5. Driving like a jackass. Tickets, points, and fines for parking and moving violations aren’t cheap. Slow down, check signs, and be careful. Your wallet and everyone else on the road will thank you. You won’t just save money, you might save a life. (Maybe yours!)
6. Take public transportation. I have a car, but I take the subway to work daily. Between parking, tolls, and wear and tear, it makes much more sense for that bad boy to stay parked in my driveway.
7. Plan your routes wisely. Leave early, and make sure you know what you’re up against in terms of tolls. Getting an EZ-Pass or similar program can save both time and money.
8. Pack snacks ahead of time. Gas stations jack up prices of junk food because they can. Buy food before leaving on a long trip to sustain you throughout a long drive.
9. Carpool. If you live close to co-workers, split the costs of gas and tolls and ride together. Bonus? You’ll be in the faster-moving HOV lane.