There are many ways to save money on expenses in your daily life. You can use coupons when checking out at the grocery store. You can also use a punch card to save money on your tenth sandwich at your favorite sub shop.
However, when it comes to your car, it’s hard to skimp on your weekly and yearly expenses. But there is a way! If you’re a responsible car owner who wishes to have more money in their pockets by the end of the year, keep on reading for these helpful auto finance tips.
Buy Car Washes in Bulk
Car washes aren’t optional! If you want to keep your car looking its absolute best, run it through the wash every week. While car washes aren’t normally expensive — around five bucks per wash — consider buying them in bulk from the carwash company.
Many car washes sell bundles. If you’re unsure, just ask!
Also, keep in mind that a single-car wash is only the cost of a regular latte at a cafe, so if you’re looking to prioritize your vehicle, consider making the swap.
Wash Your Car Yourself
However, once summer rolls around the corner, washing your car yourself is another viable option. Buy your supplies once, and you’re set for the next couple of months. Not to mention, washing your car yourself on a summer day is a great way to beat the heat. When washing your car yourself, make sure to keep these car finance tips in mind, to make it look as if it was professionally detailed.
- Don’t neglect the interior. Vacuum any crumbs in between the spaces of the seats, and polish everything until it shines.
- Polish the tires as well.
- Use a soap that’s specifically formulated for your vehicle. Dish soap is commonly used, due to its ability to cut grease, but it can also strip your car’s paint job over time.
- Use synthetic wax when polishing your car for that enviable mirror-like finish on the body.
- Move the seats forward to vacuum all the junk that gets caught under there.
- Roll your windows down to wipe off the grime that accumulates at the top.
- Don’t wash your car in the middle of the day. It will be too hot and the water will evaporate too quickly, leaving water spots.
Limit Your Driving to Save on the Wear and Tear of Your Car
Another way you can save money on your vehicle-related expenses is to cut down on the amount of driving you’re doing. This will save you money on gas too. Try carpooling with your co-workers to your job. You can also walk to destinations that are nearby, like the grocery store or your local gym. Public transportation is another cheap option. Not to mention, you’ll be doing your part in lowering CO2 emissions into the air.
Get it Detailed When it Matters
Getting your car detailed can cause its value to skyrocket, especially if you keep up with this form of maintenance over your vehicle’s lifespan. However, since this service is a little pricier than taking it through a drive-through car wash, use it sparingly. If you’re driving someone important around, detail your car! If you’re going on a date and want to impress that person, detail your car!
Do this when the occasion calls for it.
Avoid Eating in Your Car
How will this tip save you money? If you’re constantly spilling and dropping food, you’ll waste money on buying new mats and getting your car cleaned. Therefore, implement strict rules on eating and drinking while the car is in motion to prevent permanent stains.
Buy a Used Car
If you’re currently on the hunt for a car, look into buying one from a used car dealership. While buying new has its perks, a used car can save you money in the short and long term. This is one of those finance tips that seems obvious, but many people become mesmerized by the shiny new cars on the lot. Keep in mind, with a used car you’ll pay a smaller insurance rate. Not to mention, the cost upfront can be a fraction of the cost of a new car.
However, you don’t want to buy a used car that will constantly break down on you either. Go for a mid-priced option, so you can feel comfortable, safe, and reliant on your pre-owned car.
Easy Ways to Improve Your Used Car
If you’re still feeling on the fence about buying a used car over a brand new one, never fear! There are ways you can upgrade your used car, so it can feel just as luxurious at a fraction of the price. Car window tinting, for example, can elevate the look of the vehicle almost immediately.
Also, get rid of any cheap decor within the car. Yes, even the fuzzy dice hanging from your front mirror! Only carry the essentials such as a first aid kit, an air freshener, or flares in case of an emergency. Having a messy car can automatically cheapen the look too.
You can also replace old parts for recycled automotive parts if you want to fool everyone into thinking you drive off the lot with a 2020 model.
Understand How to Finance Your Car
Buying a car upfront, even a used car, can cost you a hefty chunk of change. Therefore, if you’re looking to lower this cost to a realistic number, look into car financing.
To begin this process, you’ll want to check your credit score first. Having a good score — in the 650 to 800 range — is important for getting approved for your loan. If your credit score is low, try to raise it a few points before meeting with your lender, bank, or car dealership of choice. You can do this by paying off all your credit cards or reporting any inaccuracies on your credit history.
Next, determine your budget. How much are you willing to spend in total? Look at some models that you’re interested in online to determine a baseline. Also, if you go in with a number in mind, you won’t be so easily swayed by that gorgeous cherry red convertible that keeps calling your name.
Then, familiarize yourself with some popular financing terms. This may be one of the best auto finance tips you can learn. Phrases like ‘car loan term’. This will be the set amount of time you have to make payments on your car. This term can vary from 12 to 48 months. Keep in mind, the longer the loan, the more interest you’ll pay throughout that time. So, if you’re looking to save money, try not to stretch your payments out too far into the future.
‘Lump sum’ is another term you should familiarize yourself with when trying to learn more about finance tips and car lingo. This is your down payment. For you to drive your car off the lot, you’ll need to put some cash down.
Memorize these finance tips for success when sitting down with your lender.
Fill your Gas Tank All the Way
Moving on from finance tips, let’s talk about saving on gas! This is the first cost you think of when it comes to your car. After all, you may be paying 100 bucks every two weeks to fill it up. Even more so if it’s a gas guzzler like a Jeep.
It can be tempting to fill your gas tank just a little bit now and then, this can cost you more overtime! Ensure you’re using the right gas too, as purchasing the wrong kind can damage your motor.
Only use premium if your car truly needs higher octane gas.
Pay for Your Gas Using a Credit Card
Every time you stop at the pump, pull that credit card out and make a transaction. If you get money back on your credit card, you can use those rewards towards another car expense down the line. Also, if you pump gas at your local grocery store, check to see if they have a rewards program. You may be able to get a percentage off your gasoline this way.
Keep up With the Upkeep
Being a responsible car owner pays off! Why? Well, if you maintain your vehicle, you’ll pay less repair fees overtime.
Find Auto Parts Yourself
Many mechanics don’t condone DIY, but this doesn’t mean you can’t find the part yourself and bring your car in to get serviced if you’re on a budget. Search auto parts for sale if you’re trying to customize your ride.
Get the Oil Changed
While savvy finance tips can help you find a car, make sure you’re keeping up with it now that it’s yours. Change the car’s oil every 10,000 miles!
Change Your Filters
Change your filters every few months so your car can last you longer. You’ll soon learn that maintenance tips are just as significant as finance tips if you wish to save money.
Drive Safe for a Lower Insurance Rate
If you get into an accident, your insurance rate can rise astronomically. Not to mention, you’ll have to find a personal injury attorney at the last second. Prevent this all together and learn how to become a safer driver. You may also take a defensive driving course to lower your insurance rate and save more money every year.
However, if you wish to bypass this process, implement some of these driving school tips so you’re safer and smarter behind the wheel.
Lower Your Speed When Driving in Inclimate Weather
If it’s raining, hailing, or storming, decrease your speed. Even if the posted speed limit is 45, take your foot off the gas and slow down to a comfy 40. The reason you want to slow down is because your reaction time can vary, as the bad weather makes the road, and other drivers more unpredictable. You can risk hydroplaning and crashing into the car in front of you.
Control Your Road Rage
Powerful weather is a force to be reckoned with. But so is one’s temper! Road rage can cause you to make rash decisions that you normally wouldn’t make. If you’re prone to getting riled up on the road, seek professional help, or learn to channel this negative energy. Doing so can prevent you from getting into a wreck.
Safe driving is key when trying to lower your insurance rates, but you can also look for a better rate by calling affordable insurance companies in your area and comparing the prices.
Get a Good Deal on Auto Repair Rates
Unfortunately, accidents can happen to anyone — even if you are a careful driver — so have a personal injury lawyer on speed dial just in case.
If you happen to get into a fender bender, make sure that you’re getting a good deal on the repairs too.
Finding a Good Mechanic
If you’re on the hunt for an auto body repair shop in your area after your wreck, try asking around at work. Even ask family members. They may be able to refer you to a good mechanic.
Find an Accident Attorney Who Will Work With Your Budget
If you’re trying to save money, being prepared for worst-case scenarios is one of the best auto and finance tips you can implement. Therefore, find an accident lawyer who can work with your unique financial situation if you are hurt in an accident. Those medical bills can pile up, and you deserve to be compensated if you’ve suffered damages.
Some Final Words on Saving on Your Car’s Expenses
Who doesn’t love a good deal? After all, saving money is addictive! Once you learn how to find the best deals, you’ll be hooked and want to apply this practice to every aspect of your life. You can even do this with your car-related expenses.
Follow these auto finance tips to shrink your yearly expenses, so you can reap the benefits and become a more responsible driver while out on the road.