3 Ways Your Car is Costing You Too Much

by Kyle Taylor on May 9, 2013

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Saving money on gas

If a mortgage undoubtedly is most people’s biggest lifetime material investment, cars probably are the second most important. Not only does their upfront cost represent a lot of money, but their maintenance and their daily use both generate very high fees too.

Therefore, trying to save every little buck you can when it comes to using your car is a good habit to integrate since it can add up a fairly big amount of money in the long run.

Here are three ways your car probably is costing you too much money; cutting down on those useless expenses could be highly profitable!

1. Gasoline wastes

With gasoline reaching skyrocketing prices, one of the main areas where your car currently is costing you way too much money is energy input. You are probably thinking: “But wait a second: the very purpose of owning a car is to go from point A to point B and to just do that, I can’t avoid filling up the tank with gas.

So why then is he talking about cutting down on gasoline?” Of course, filling up the gas tank is inevitable, especially if you do not live within walking distance of the services you have to use on a daily basis. However, changing your driving habits to avoid useless gasoline wastes is possible and can yield interesting results!

Accelerating quickly and braking abruptly are among the first behaviours to change: according to Fuel Economy, those habits can reduce your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Limiting those behaviours could help you save the equivalent of between $0.18 and $1.19 per gallon!

Same thing with idling: 10 minutes of idling every day augments your yearly gas consumption by 5%! Turning off the engine when your car is not moving could save you close to $150 every year (assuming you spend $50 per week on gas). Keeping an eye on tire pressure can also prove to be very profitable: according to Acura, low tire pressure could be increase fuel consumption by 4%.

2. Insurance

Many people think that there is very little they can do to reduce their insurance premium apart from taking the time to do some shopping before they sign a contract. Well, this is not completely true.

For instance, choosing your next car model following certain criteria could lower your premium: avoiding cars that are statistically very involved in crashes or that are among the most coveted by thieves, going for cars with security devices or even going for a hybrid car could all lead to significantly lower monthly insurance payments.

Requesting a higher deductible could also by profitable in the long run, especially if you do not drive in accident-prone areas. Merging your insurance, auto and life insurances with the same company (when possible) can also have an impact on your bills.

3. Parking

Paying for your car, paying for the gas, paying for the insurance, paying for the maintenance, paying for your license… That’s what you need to pay just to get in your car and go somewhere! And once you get to your final destination, you often have to pay another fee for your parking spot! Even when your car is still, you have to pay for it!

It may appear difficult to cut down on parking tickets, but it is feasible in two different ways: one of them is to accept parking further than right in front of the place you need to go to.

In effect, parking meters are often used where traffic is dense in order to avoid letting people park their car for hours along busy, commercial streets, for instance. Parking a few blocks away from those busy streets often rhymes with free parking spaces (and with a short walk, which can only be beneficial for your health!).

Another way to avoid paying pointlessly for parking spaces is to split the fees: if you go shopping with a friend, for instance, try to have either of the two picking the other person up instead of both bringing your own car downtown.

Of course, you would be even thriftier if you were to bike downtown or to use public transportation… but these possibilities unfortunately do not exist everywhere. This is why is it important for people who absolutely cannot do without their car to change their habits in order to cut down their car expenses.

About the author:

Alexandre Duval is a blogger for Standard Life, a company offering saving solutions including conventional annuities.

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