Money saving opportunities are abundant at home, but modern motorists spend a great deal of time on the road. Turning your attention toward transportation spending can uncover squandered savings, amidst legitimate automotive expenditures.
Even under the most efficient possible circumstances, cars are expensive, taxing household budgets with various motoring expenses. Topped with wasteful car spending, the cost of keeping a personal vehicle accounts for a sizable share of each driver’s overall budget. In order to limit waste and make the most of your transportation resources, it is essential to periodically review the amount of money needed to keep you on the road. In most cases, drivers committed to saving money find ways to cut costs.
Where Does Your Transportation Budget Go?
Three spending areas are particularly costly to drivers, so a comprehensive financial review starts with a close look at premiums, fuel bills, and repair/maintenance costs.
Fuel Economy Directly Impacts Transportation Costs – Combustion engines revolutionized transportation, but they are useless without an ongoing fuel source. Unfortunately, gassing-up costs money and each gallon purchased only takes you so far. Gasoline prices ebb and flow, based on global economics and continually changing supply and demand. And though there is no way to sidestep these gas price movements, changing your driving habits can open-up significant savings. Human nature makes us pay closer attention when gas prices are high, but the same relative savings are possible when fuel prices dip. To start saving money now, evaluate your driving routines, with an eye toward trimming waste and maximizing each gallon of gas.
There are several ways to reduce the amount of gas you burn and consequently spend less at the pump. Sharing rides, for example, drastically reduces the cost of driving, splitting the price of gas between all the riders. Better yet, use public transportation to ease fuel costs, relying on buses and trains to carry you to regular destinations. Those unwilling to sacrifice convenience for fuel savings can still make use of a personal vehicle, without wasteful gas spending. Grouping trips, so you don’t backtrack, is one way to save, and plotting the most direct course to each destination also creates fuel efficiency. The type of vehicle you drive heavily influences annual gas costs, so starting with a fuel efficient car is a fundamental money saving approach.
Transportation Expenses Include Insurance Premiums – Mandatory insurance laws aside, it is a good idea to protect yourself, your property and other motorists’ well-being with adequate insurance coverage. That said, there is no reason to leave money on the table when arranging car policies. Your state may have minimum guidelines in-place, detailing the type and amount of insurance required by law. Although these thresholds will prevent you from getting fined, the mandated levels of coverage may not reflect your actual needs.
To cover the cost of property and accommodate medical bills incurred by passengers and others involved in a car accident, motorists have access to coverage beyond basic levels. Increased protection means higher premiums, so they key to buying car insurance is matching coverage to your particular situation. Wealthy drivers, for example, typically carry higher coverage levels, because they have more to lose should an accident occur. Motorists insuring outdated vehicles, on the other hand, don’t need high levels of protection for the low value of an old car. In order to secure the best available coverage, without exceeding your budget, compare quotes from multiple providers. Online resources are available, enabling shoppers to evaluate options side-by-side.
Car Repairs and Routine Maintenance add to the Cost of Driving – The best ways to avoid costly repairs are driving defensively and staying current with recommended car maintenance. By taking a less aggressive stance on the road, you are less likely to be involved in an accident, and by keeping-up with car maintenance, you’ll extend the life of your vehicle.
Upkeep costs money, and occasional repairs are to be expected, but there are ways to keep driving expenses reasonable. For starters, change your oil regularly, to avoid engine failure caused by excessive friction. And address worn brake parts timely, so problems don’t get worse and more expensive to fix. Other maintenance recommendations can be found in your vehicle owner’s manual, which contains service schedules and helps estimate the usable life of your cars components. A trusted mechanic is invaluable, so comparing repair facilities is worth the legwork, ensuring you don’t overpay for a car service. When it is time to replace your car, use online resources to compare and contrast your financial options, to make the most of your budget.
Insurance, fuel, and repairs are among the three most costly driving expenses. By managing gas economy and closely evaluating insurance coverage, you may be able to trim transportation costs, without sacrificing comfort and convenience. And since regular service and upkeep helps extend car life, routine maintenance is an essential money saving move.