Top Tips for Saving on Auto Expenses
With higher fuel costs and supply chain issues causing record driving costs, it’s smart to have a strategy this year to save on auto expenses. After all, don’t you have more important things to spend your hard-earned money on? We’ve compiled these tips to save on gas, spend less on repairs and maintenance, and lower auto insurance premiums.
Keep Up with Routine Maintenance
Although it might seem like modern cars need frequent service, drivers actually have it good compared to the old days. With synthetic oils, many cars today only need 5-10K miles between oil changes compared to the old 3,000-mile intervals. The most important advice is to follow the recommendations in your factory service manual.
Regular maintenance avoids fuel economy problems due to old spark plugs, dragging brakes, sagging belts, and low transmission fluid. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40%.1 Is your car out of warranty? Find a reputable independent shop to save on auto expenses compared to dealership service.
Do Minor Maintenance Yourself
While you should always follow factory service intervals, you’re not required to have the dealership do everything. Many maintenance items are simple to install if you have a few basic tools. Buying the parts online or from an auto parts store can save hundreds a year. Thanks to free resources such as amateur DIY videos, doing basic maintenance is usually just a click away.
- Engine air filters – A dealer can charge you a significant amount of money to change an engine air filter, when on most vehicles this is 5-minute job you can do at home. It’s usually as simple as opening a plastic box under the hood.
- Cabin air filters – These filters are usually easy to access through your glove compartment or under the hood. Your owners’ manual or the internet are your resource for learning how to do this.
- Windshield wipers – Don’t let your dealer overcharge you for wipers if you can wait. Modern wipers are a simple snap-in product that shouldn’t take less than a minute.
- Tires – Inflating your tires to the pressure listed in on your driver’s side door jam can improve your car’s fuel economy significantly.
In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities.2 Driving safely can help save your life or someone else’s, and it could save you a considerable amount on yearly auto expenses. Statistics show that aggressive driving can lower your highway gas mileage by 15% to 30% and your city mileage by 10% to 40%.1 Always a safe driver? There are other ways you can save on gas consumption and excessive wear and tear. Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks, which can decrease your fuel economy by up to 8% in city driving and up to 25% at interstate speeds.1 Removing heavy items from your car can also make a difference. An extra 100 pounds could increase gas costs by up to $.03 cents per gallon.1
Save on Auto Insurance
The Insurance Information Institute has great advice on how to save on auto insurance, but their first suggestion is to shop around.3 If this sounds time-consuming, there is a better way. From changing your deductibles to consolidating your insurance policies under one company to maximize discounts, the insurance experts at Answer Financial can help you compare policies across 40+ top-rated companies to find you the best policy for your needs.
Who is Answer Financial?
Answer Financial has been in business for 25 years helping 4+ million people find the right coverage for their needs. On average, we’ve helped save customer $557 a year on one of the most expensive auto expenses – insurance!* Use our online comparison tool to compare quotes or call 1-800-258-5101 to discuss your individual needs with one of our experts today.
February 7, 2023
- gov, “Saving Money on Gas,” https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/saving-money-gas
- gov, “Speeding,” https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding
- org, “Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs,” https://www.iii.org/article/nine-ways-to-lower-your-auto-insurance-costs