15 Ways to Save on Car Costs

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The following guest post comes to us from Jessica Bosari. Jessica helps consumers learn to save money on car insurance at CarInsuranceQuotesComparison.com. Consumers can read about discounts, learn the facts about car insurance, and compare car insurance companies.

15 Ways to Save on Car Costs

Owning a car can be expensive, especially with rising fuel costs. Here are some ways to cut your expenses without giving up your car.

1. Accelerate and Decelerate Smoothly

Quick starts and stops reduce your car’s fuel efficiency by about 3mpg each time you hit the gas or the brakes.

2. Compare Gas Quotes

Gas comparison has gone high tech. You can look at gas prices with a smart phone app that uses your GPS location to find gas stations in your vicinity, no matter what part of town you are in.

3. Avoid Idling

Unless you own a hybrid or electric vehicle, idling for a few minutes can use as much gasoline as driving for a mile. If you need to stop for more than 10 seconds, turn the car off.

4. Keep the Tires Inflated Properly

Your tires play a large role in your fuel consumption. Make sure they are always inflated properly for the best mileage.

5. Change the Oil Regularly

The oil in your car’s engine helps everything run smoothly and prevents overheating. You will face fewer breakdowns and repairs if the engine oil is always clean.

6. Use a GPS System

Getting lost can eat up time and burn up unnecessary fuel. Program your destinations into a GPS system so that you can find the fastest, most efficient route to your destination.

7. Stay as Light as Possible

Excess weight in your car will cause your car’s engine to burn gasoline faster. Avoid storing unnecessary items in your car or trunk so that your car stays as light as possible.

8. Skip Higher Octane Gas

Most engines do not require high-octane gasoline. Unless you are driving a high performance model, the less expensive options will be fine.

9. Choose Higher Deductible Insurance

You can lower your insurance rates if you choose higher deductibles. Make sure the deductibles are affordable if you need to file a claim, though.

10. Avoid Synthetic Oil

Standard engine oil will keep your engine running well as long as you have the oil changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months.

11. Leave Out Unnecessary Options

When you purchase a car, leave off any options that you don’t need for safety or comfort.

12. Shop for a Car Online

Even if you plan to buy your car from a local dealer, compare prices for similar makes and models online. Some dealerships offer special pricing for online shoppers.

13. Compare Insurance Prices

Your insurance rates can change dramatically from year to year based on several different factors. Keep track of pricing so that you can keep your insurance costs as low as possible.

14. Keep It Slow

The best speed for your gas mileage is 55mph. Driving faster will send you to the gas pump more often.

15. Choose an Independent Mechanic

Mechanics who own their shops have more flexibility when it comes to pricing. You could negotiate a better repair price with an independent mechanic.

How about you all? What methods do you use to save money on car expenses? Have you had either good or bad experiences with any of the methods discussed above?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

Jacob’s Thoughts – Listed below are my random thoughts as I was reading this article.

  • @ Comparing gas quotes – I have mixed feelings about the benefits of doing this, probably partly because I don’t have a SmartPhone.
    • Personally, my preferred method of buying gas is to find the nearest BP station and use my 5% cash back BP Visa credit card for all of my purchases. Assuming a cost of gas per gallon of $3.50, this 5% cash back equates to a savings of $0.18 per gallon. 
    • In my opinion, I am likely not to find another gas station within close driving distance that will offer me cost savings beyond the $0.18 per gallon that I get at BP with my BP Visa credit card.
    • Because of this, I personally don’t do too much gas price comparison when I need to buy gas.
  • @ Keeping the tires properly inflated – As we saw in the post last week about saving money on cars expenses, not only can keeping your tires inflated save you money, but it also keeps you and your family safer by preventing tire blowouts! Quite worth it in my book!
  • @ Keeping your car as light as possible – I have to admit that I am incredibly bad at this one!
    • During my high school years, I drove around most of the time with a set of sub-woofers in my truck. These weighed in at about 70 pounds! Probably not the best fuel efficiency there! haha
    • I am also bad at leaving outdoor equipment and other luggage in my car after a trip or excursion. This most likely decreases my fuel efficiency as well!
  •  @ Choosing a higher deductible for car insurance – I am a big fan of having a higher deductible for insurance. After all, insurance should be used to protect yourself from catastrophic loss, not for being used to install a new sunroof! 
    • For home-owners insurance I think a deductible of $2,500 is perfectly acceptable.
    • For car insurance, I would probably decrease the deductible to $1,000, just because you are more likely to get in a car wreck than have your house burn down/get destroyed.
  • @ Leaving out the unnecessary options – 
    • My family has always been a big fan of this method. In fact, the car I am driving now is so stripped down that it does NOT have any of the following – 1) automatic locks, 2) cruise control, or 3) automatic transmission.
    • It is also worthwhile mentioning that you can save about $1000 on the cost of a new vehicle simply by the manual transmission option. Stick-shifts are more fun to drive, and they are also more fuel efficient! Nice!

***Photo courtesy of http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3241/2484541616_90c9b7e9ea.jpg


  1. Maintaining you r car saves a lot of money and gas! That is why my 16 and 14 year old cars are still doing so well.
    My recent post 5 Steps to Buy Income Property

  2. Maintaining your car saves a lot of money and gas! That is why my 16 and 14 year old cars are still doing so well.
    My recent post 5 Steps to Buy Income Property

  3. I'm not sure about the comment to change your oil over 3000 miles or 3 months. My manual says every 5000-7500 miles.
    My recent post Another ING Deal-update

    • I've actually heard the same thing before Ginger – that the manuals recommend an oil change every 5k miles. Maybe the oil change places recommend to change the oil more often to get us in the store more often! I'll have to look in to this specifically for my 2004 Honda Accord.
      My recent post Tips on Saving Money for the Future

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