Owning a vehicle is expensive. Depending on the type of car, you can easily spend hundreds if not a thousand dollars a month on car payments, paying for gasoline, maintenance, registration, and insurance. Some people decide that owning their own car isn’t worth the expense and opt for public transportation. If you are not able to do that, there are some ways that you can save money on your vehicle expenses.
First, keep your car up to date on maintenance and do as much of the maintenance as you can yourself. Choosing not to do routine maintenance to save some money in the moment can end up costing hundreds of dollars more in the long run if a major mechanical issue arises due to poor maintenance. If you are able, do the basic maintenance (such as changing the oil) yourself. If you do not know how to do it, ask a friend or search for instructional videos on YouTube. If you do not have a space to do it, there may be a “rent a garage” in your area. These are garages that allow people to rent space by the hour to do their own maintenance. Generally, the hourly rates are much less than what you would pay to have a mechanic at a professional shop do the work.
Second, conserve gasoline whenever possible. Plan your errands so that you aren’t driving back and forth. Don’t leave your car idling. Make sure you don’t have extra unnecessary weight in your car. And, use an app like Gas Buddy to find the least expensive gasoline in your area.
Third, make sure you aren’t overpaying for insurance. Get quotes from multiple companies and research to see which is best for you. Call your insurance company and ask if you are eligible for any discounts. Review your insurance at least once a year to make sure you have adequate coverage and are still getting the best rate.
Fourth, consider using your car to earn extra income. If you are considering getting a part-time job, you may want to consider being a Uber or Lyft driver or delivering food for a restaurant or a company like door dash.