Let’s face it, most of us need a car. Yet, with oil now over $90 a barrel driving isn’t getting any cheaper. Even worse, you are probably also wasting money on your car in at least 1 of these 5 ways.
Avoid doing them and you’ll be able to at least partly offset the ever increasing price of gas.
1. Paying Too Much For Gas
This may seem really obvious but you would be surprised how many people end up paying too much for gas. This can happen in a few ways. First, going to a gas station just because it offers you a rewards card/gas savings card.
For example, if the card saves you 5 cents a gallon but the price at that station is 10 cents a gallon more you are actually worse off.
Second, not filling up on non-peak days. Statistically, filling up on Wednesday is cheapest and filling up just before the weekend is the most expensive.
Finally, using higher octane gasoline than you need to. If you car doesn’t need premium don’t fill it up with premium.
2. Driving Too Fast
Many of us like to drive fast, unfortunately it is also expensive. The most obvious cost of speeding is getting a speeding ticket, which will also result in higher insurance premiums (see below for more on insurance). However, this is not the only cost.
If you speed you are also wasting gas because the faster you go the more air resistance there is. For most cars once you go past 40 mph air resistance is more important than rolling resistance.
This means every mph above 40 mph is coting you more. Slow down from 65 mph to 60 mph and you will see significant savings.
Also, driving too fast will cost you more in maintenance. On average, people who drive faster also break more often. So, not only are wasting gas but you are wearing out your car parts faster.
Finally, try to use cruise control whenever possible keeping a constant speed also helps reduce fuel and maintenance costs.
3. Not Getting Proper, Regular Maintenance
Speaking of maintenance, many people waste money by not getting it done properly and regularly. Maintenance, costs money so many people put it off, or go to some cheapo mechanic to get it done.
Both of these are false economies, they save you money in the short run, but cost you more later on.
It is better to pay $100 today to fix something small with your car, than paying $500 next year when that small problem turns into a big one. Moreover, you want to make sure that the mechanic doing the maintenance on your car does it properly so small problems don’t become big ones.
Finally, getting proper maintenance can also help increase your gas millage, saving you even more money.
4. Keeping Your Tires Properly Inflated
This is something you can do yourself, costs you nothing but a little of you time, yet can save you hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of your car. All you need is a pressure Gage.
Then every week check to make sure that your tire pressure is at the level the manufacturer recommends. If, your tires need inflating simply go to any gas station and you should be able to use their air hose for free.
Not only will you save money on gas, but you will also get better handling and performance with properly inflated tires.
5. Paying Too Much For Car Insurance
Finally, many people waste money on their cars by paying too much for their car insurance. Many people just stick with the same insurance year after year and never bother comparing rates.
However, you may be paying too much especially if your driver history has changed. Things such as your age, the car you drive, where you live, the number of accidents and number of tickets all affect how much you pay.
I recommend you get a free online car insurance quote at least once a year to make sure you aren’t paying more than you have to. The average savings of people who do switch car insurance companies is usually in the $200-$300 range.
How much gas would that buy you in a year?
To make it easy for you I have even included a simple form that can provide you with quotes from leading car insurance companies in your state.
Simply select your state from the menu below and then choose one (or more) of the companies to see how much you could save on your car insurance.