We all know that there’s LOTS of little things we can do to save our pennies, like clipping coupons and cutting back on all those lattes from Starbucks. But, what about things that are related directly to our vehicles? Honestly, “car costs” just aren’t the first thing that pops into peoples minds when they’re brainstorming ways to add more frugality to their lives. With that in mind, we’ve complied a few tips and tricks to get you on your way to a few extra pennies in your pocket!
1. Keeping your tires properly inflated and your car tuned are simple measures that can easily save you roughly $100 per year on gasoline alone…not to mention helping you get the most out of both your engine and tires. Tire gauges are sold pretty much everywhere, and your owners manual should clearly state the level your tires should be inflated at.
2. Keep your fuel filter – and your air filter – clean! These are both inexpensive fixes that will help your vehicle to perform better, increase your mileage, and help you engine to last a long life. Again, this is where your owners manual – and a good mechanic – come in handy!
3. Try to always use the lowest octane gasoline as recommended by your owner’s manual. While it’s estimated that only 15% of cars on the road actually require premium, a quarter (25%) of all gasoline sold is of premium grade. So, do what your owner’s manual suggests as opposed to the latest flashy gasoline ad.
4. Pay attention to the speed of traffic as well as any slowdowns that may be up the road. This will help you to maintain a more consistent speed which will not only save you gas, but also help you to be a more alert and safe driver. The constant speeding up and slowing down (like driving in the city) really does do a number on your mpg (miles per gallon)…this is why highway driving almost always nets a better mpg.
5. Have you ever thought about car pooling? We know that it may not be an optimal scenario, but consider this…ride sharing with just one other individual will cut your commuting costs in half! Plus, if you alternate vehicles, you car will only get about half the wear and tear as it would if you were driving to work every day.
So, that’s the first half (yep, we’ve got another five coming your way!) of our tips and tricks regarding getting the most money (savings) out of your vehicle. Check back soon for the remainder of our penny pinching tips!!!