8 unique tips for how to save on common car expenses

One of your biggest purchases in life, apart from a home, is likely a cars

One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing your car is the cost of upkeep. Depending on your car, items like oil, tires, and even gas can end up costing a lot.

Even if you paid in full, the cost of your car doesn't end once you drive it off the lot, or when you pay off the loan. Besides the cost of gas alone, your car requires insurance, maintaining, and eventually, repairs. Even if you're prepared for various vehicle expenses and have included them within your budget, the price of maintaining your car can add up to a lot over the years.

Thankfully, there are ways to save on many of those required costs. Here are eight tips to help you save on common car expenses.

1. Change Your Oil

Changing your oil every 3,000 miles is of the key ways to ensure that your car continues to run smoothly. What may seem like a bit of a pain and expense every now and then, will extend your engine life and save you from more expensive repairs in the future. Moreover, be careful of what oil you put in your car. Although you might be able to find a cheaper alternative, if your car's manufacturer has a recommended grade, it's often wiser and in your best interest financially to use the correct oil.

2. Keep Your Tires Inflated

This one is especially important when it's cold outside. Ensuring your tires are at the proper PSI can save you from having to purchase new tires more often than you'd like. Check your owner manual for the correct tire pressure for your car and invest in a tire gauge. Check the pressure of your tires once a month and be sure to re-inflate them in a timely manner if they do appear low. Furthermore, be careful about going on your car's PSI monitoring system alone, as these sometimes wait too long to alert you of a pressure loss.

3. Review Your Insurance Needs

Like with your other insurance policies, it's important to shop around before deciding on a car insurer. By shopping around and receiving multiple quotes, you'll more likely than not save a fair amount than if you'd gone with your first pick. Of course, after signing up with an insurance provider, be sure to review your policy every year to make sure it still fits you and your car and that you're not paying for any extraneous items.

4. Don't Purchase Dealer Products

When you go to purchase your car, you'll likely notice the many amenities and products you can add-on. Even if you'd like to include accessories like different wheels, roof racks, speakers, or possibly even a navigation system, it might be wise to hold off on buying these through the dealer. They're often much more expensive to add on initially, and by buying after-market products or using another source, you could save between thirty and fifty percent.

5. Buy Within Your Budget

The make and model of car you buy has a big impact on how much you'll spend maintaining the car as well. Higher-end cars simply cost more to maintain. Their oil, brake pads, tires, and every other item you can think of, costs more than if you'd purchased a low or mid-range vehicle.

Moreover, they may also cost more in insurance, especially if they're considered a sport model. Decide ahead of time what you can afford to spend on your car costs and expenses. If keeping up with a Mini Cooper or Lexus is too much for your budget, you'll be happier and save in the long run.

6. Learn to Maintain It Yourself

Anytime you take your car in, whether it's to the dealer or another auto shop, you're not only going to pay for any repairs, but for cost of labor as well. While you obviously can't do all your own repairs, unless you happen to be a mechanic of course, there are a few repairs you can learn in order to save money.

Changing your oil and battery (sometimes depending on the car) or checking your tires and their PSI are all simple tasks, that upon learning yourself, can save you hundreds of dollars. That being said, if it's not a simple fix, you're much better off taking it in.

7. Drive Wisely

At the risk of sounding like a scolding parent, driving wisely, and safely for that matter can end up saving you hundreds of dollars as well. Habits like constantly driving far above the speed limit, accelerating quickly and braking hard, only serve to wear your car, brakes, and tires down faster.

Moreover, by consistently driving your car to its limits, you'll also use up more gas and therefore spend more on that each month as well. Another wasteful driving habit is letting your car sit idle for an extended period, especially to warm it up. You'll only waste gas by doing so, and oddly enough, your car actually warms up quicker while driving.

8. Keep a Schedule

Cars take upkeep, it's as simple as that, but by keeping a schedule of how often your car needs maintenance will help you financially. Check your owner's manual and keep a record of how often you need to take your car into the dealership for various items. By doing so, you'll know exactly what your car needs and when, and be able to resist any additional, extraneous maintenance proposed by the dealer.

There's no way around your car's expenses. If you want to keep it running well and save yourself from major repairs in the future, you'll have to pay to maintain it in the first place. Nonetheless, there are practices you can start and small adjustments you can make daily that can help you save on those expenses. Through a little research and wise driving decisions, your car's costs don't have to take up so much of your budget.

Have you tried any of these tips and found them successful? What are some other ways you've saved on common car expenses?

The post 8 Tips to Save on Common Car Expenses appeared first on Everything Finance.

RELATED: 5 financial myths that just aren't true

5 financial myths that just aren't true
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5 financial myths that just aren't true
#1. "Home are great investments"
"If you're young and are burdened by debt, renting is probably the better bet for you. There's nothing wrong with renting either! Buying a house means putting a LOT of cash down and taking on a mortgage. Mortgages aren't exactly flexible. Then you've got to worry about monthly maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc. Owning a house is expensive, illiquid, and not something you should consider until you are REALLY REALLY REALLY ready." -The Funny Financial Planner
#2. "Investing is only for the wealthy"
"Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This one just downright annoys me. Maybe you were conditioned to believe this? I'm here to tell you it is a MYTH! Investing is not as complicated as you might think. Sure, there's a learning curve, but with a little help and research you can begin. Maybe you've already begun? Do you have a retirement plan (401k or IRA?), then congratulations, you're already an investor. And guess what?! You don't need $100,000 to start." -The Funny Financial Planner
#3. "A will guarantees your assets will be distributed how you want"
"This is a myth my friends. In fact, if the beneficiaries named in your retirement plans (401k, IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) are different than those you've named in your will...the assets go to the beneficiaries on the retirement accounts and NOT those named in your will. Make sure your will and the beneficiaries you've named on the accounts are in agreement." -The Funny Financial Planner
#4. "I don't want to invest now... I'm trying to time the market"
"'Timing the market' means you think you can figure out the best times to buy low and sell high. Well here's a quote from famed investor Peter Lynch, "I can't recall ever once having seen the name of a market timer on Forbes' annual list of the richest people in the world. If it were truly possible to predict corrections, you'd think somebody would've made billions by doing it." That's all you need to know. It's just not possible. It's best to get in as soon as possible and have a solid, long-term, passive plan, with proper diversification." -The Funny Financial Planner
#5. "I'm too young to worry about retirement"
"Nonsense!!! Time is the best tool you have to build wealth. The longer you wait, the less money you're going to have at retirement. Even if you think it's a long way off and you don't have the money to start now, begin anyway. Do what you can. It will make a HUGE difference in the end. Time coupled with compound interest is pure magic my friends. (Click on the words "compound interest" to see Investopedia's explanation). It's truly the eighth wonder of the world." -The Funny Financial Planner

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