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Five Ways to Cut Down on Vehicle Costs

For most people, owning a car is a necessity. The costs associated with owning a vehicle can sometimes be high, leaving you to shell out more money than you bargained for. But, there are several simple ways you can cut down on your vehicle’s expenses. 

Switch Your Auto Insurance

Legally, all registered vehicles must have some form of auto insurance. If you’re paying more for auto insurance than you’re comfortable with, try comparing rates from different insurance providers. You can also review and modify your current insurance policy to better meet your budget. This can include lowering your policy’s mileage limits, increasing your deductible, or eliminating unnecessary bells and whistles. Another easy way to save on your insurance costs is by enrolling in a defensive driving course. Some insurance companies also bundle coverage with home or life insurance, which can save you in the long run.

Keep Up With Maintanence 

You can extend the life of your vehicle by keeping up with routine maintenance, like oil changes, tire rotations, and more. Keeping up with maintenance before an issue arises can also save you from costly repairs later. A simple way to save on vehicle maintenance is by learning how to perform simple diagnostic tests. You can also learn how to perform simple maintenance tasks, including oil changes and tire rotations. If you feel knowledgeable enough to perform larger maintenance projects, go for it! Otherwise, save major fixes for a trusted mechanic.

Drive Less 

While this might not be feasible for everyone, driving less is a surefire way to save on your vehicle’s expenses. Driving less means consuming less gasoline, while also putting less wear on your vehicle. When you do drive, try consolidating and grouping your trips to save gas (and time). If you own two vehicles but primarily rely on one, consider selling the less-used vehicle. 

Maximize Fuel Economy 

Similarly, you can save money on vehicle costs by reviewing your driving habits to maximize fuel efficiency. While you should consolidate trips when you can, one of the simplest ways to make the most of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is to avoid speeding. Speeding and driving aggressively can consume the gas in your tank and add wear to your vehicle more quickly than those who drive safely. Driving erratically could also lead to a costly traffic ticket. If you’re in the market for a newer vehicle or are looking for one with better fuel economy, consider opting for something electric or hybrid. For those not interested in something electric or hybrid, keep in mind that smaller vehicles generally have better fuel efficiency. Be sure to check out our blog about the best new vehicles of 2024.

Refinance or Pay Off Your Auto Loan

One of the biggest ways to lower your vehicle’s costs is by paying off any auto loans. If you can afford to pay it off, you’ll have more disposable income each month. If you can’t afford to pay off your auto loan but are interested in lowering your loan's interest rate, consider refinancing. You can do so by first comparing rates from different banks and lenders. Refinancing a loan with a high interest rate can also lower your overall monthly payments, leaving you with more disposable income. 

Owning and operating a vehicle can be expensive, but there are ways you can cut down on associated costs. For unexpected vehicle expenses, it’s wise to create an emergency fund just in case. Happy driving!

Need help financing a vehicle purchase? Gulf Winds can help you out.

Hunter Morrison

Hunter Morrison

About Hunter Morrison

Hunter has freelanced for various print and radio publications across Northwest Florida, including The Bay Beacon, Navarre Press, Inweekly, Crestview News Bulletin, and WUWF. He was also the Editor in Chief of the University of West Florida’s student newspaper, The Voyager. In 2023, Hunter moved to Kenai, Alaska to take up a news reporting position with KDLL Public Radio. For fun, Hunter enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, photography, thrifting, traveling, and looking for the best Thai food around. 

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