Owning a car is like a rite of passage for American teenagers. The excitement of turning the key in the ignition and taking off to your destination is a great improvement over riding shotgun. However, owning a car comes with many expenses.
To begin with, the one-time purchase of the car is a huge financial commitment. Paying for a car can set you back by thousands of dollars. Other expenses follow when you run the car on a daily basis. You have to pay expenses such as filling up the tank, regular maintenance, and keeping the vehicle clean.
Expenses for Different Cars Vary
Monthly expenses for running a car vary depending on the kind of car you own and the number of hours you spend on the road. Cars with a big engine capacity consume a lot of fuel per mile but have the benefit of reaching high speeds quickly.
Smaller cars house smaller engines, which can help you save on fuel.On the flipside, small cars limit the amount of cargo you can carry. Fuel type also factors in when calculating the cost of running a car. Cars that run on gas have higher daily running costs compared to cars that run on diesel.
Unfortunately, the government is slowly phasing out diesel cars in America. At the moment, only a few gas stations stock diesel. Running your car everyday does not have to dent your pocketbook. With the following tips in mind, you can enjoy driving your car while simultaneously saving money.
How Can Car Owners Save Money?
1. Buying Used Instead of New
Going by the statistics from the Federal Trade Commission, new cars are very costly. The average cost of a brand new car in America is $30,000. This value drops very quickly, which makes it more sensible to buy a used car. You can find quality used cars for sale that go for great prices and have everything you get in a new car.
2. Keep the Car in Good Condition
Driving on rough roads causes wear and tear on your car. At some point, the damaged parts need repair or replacement. Experienced drivers can attest to the importance of implementing minor repairs as soon as issues pop up.
Don’t wait for when the car stalls in the middle of the road to fix issues. Aside from the repair costs, you will have to pay for towing.
3. Don’t Overuse the Air Conditioner
Switching on the AC in your car adds an extra load on the engine and can increase fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. Hold off on using the car’s AC unless the weather is extremely cold or hot. Even then, you can save on fuel by rolling up the windows to maintain the optimal temperatures after switching on the AC.
Shutting out air from entering your car keeps the interior from being affected by the exterior weather conditions.
4. Get a Reasonable Insurance Plan
Traffic laws dictate that you are not allowed to drive without insurance coverage. Driving on the road exposes you to the risk of getting into car accidents. Your insurance can sometimes make it less likely you’ll need to go to court for a car accident. Any costs from damages to the car or injuries on the body can be covered by a good insurance plan.
5. Driving Habits
A good driver maintains a constant speed on the road. Frequent acceleration and deceleration raises fuel consumption. Keeping the same speed also comes with added advantages like increased awareness allowing you to respond faster to changes on the road.
You can also invite your friends who want to save on driving costs to carpool in your car and split the cost of gas.
Occupy the Road Without Raising Expenses
When you join the millions of drivers cruising American roads, you have the opportunity to do so without incurring the high cost of car ownership. Simply follow the tips discussed in the sections above to drive without breaking your bank account every time you hit the road.