Find Out 4 Ways to Save on Auto Costs

While owning a vehicle is often considered a necessity, the cost of having a car can quickly add up. After all, auto costs can include everything from your car loan (if you financed a purchase) to auto insurance, gas expenses, repair costs and more. 

Fortunately, there are several ways that you may be able to save money on auto expenses as a whole, both now and in the future. Learn about four simple ways to save on auto costs below.  

1. How Getting the Best Auto Loan Rate May Help You Save

Most Americans take out an auto loan to purchase a vehicle. Obtaining the best auto loan rate possible should help you save big throughout the life of your loan. The interest rate you agree to pay when purchasing a vehicle is a percent of your monthly payments not allocated towards your principal balance. It is a fee that you pay to acquire the funds necessary to purchase the vehicle. 

The interest rate you are offered is determined by several factors, including: 

  • Your credit score and history.
  • Your income. 
  • Your debt-to-income ratio. 

When shopping for the best car loan rates, you should review several lenders to compare interest rates and loan terms. Generally, you want to obtain the lowest auto loan rates available when buying a vehicle. That way, you end up paying less money over the life of the loan. 

Afraid your creditworthiness is not up to par? Depending on your situation, you may still be able to qualify for lower interest rates if you have a cosigner. 

Besides reviewing the best auto loans available to you, it’s essential to consider the loan’s length and your monthly payment amount. The faster you can pay the loan off, the less you will pay in interest costs over the life of the loan. However, consider this as well: The shorter your loan term, the higher your monthly payments will be. 

Another way you can decrease future costs when you’re buying a car is to put down a larger down payment. This decreases the amount of money you will need to borrow, as well as the amount of interest you will need to pay (since the overall interest you will pay is largely based on the rate itself multiplied by how much money you borrow for financing).  

2. How to Lower Car Insurance Premiums and Save 

Most states in the U.S. require you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance for your vehicle. However, these minimum amounts vary between states, and there are several types of auto insurance coverage beyond the state requirements that may ultimately save you money in the event of an accident. Learning how to lower car insurance premiums is one way you may be able to decrease your overall auto costs. 

The first step in acquiring discount car insurance is determining the type and amount of insurance you need. Consider this: If your state only requires certain types of liability coverage but you have a comprehensive policy with various other types of coverage on it, you may be paying for more insurance than your state requires. If you don’t think you need these other types of coverage, removing them from your policy can lower your bill. 

Another step you can take if you are satisfied with the types of insurance coverage you currently have is to compare your insurance provider against others in your area. Shopping around is a proven and effective method for finding the best auto insurance discount. 

Typically, all you have to do is fill out a few forms online through various reputable car insurance companies, and you can receive free auto insurance quotes. Then, you can compare those quotes to see which one is best for you and your budget. The insurance rates that you are offered will vary based on factors such as: 

  • The vehicle you drive.
  • Where you live.
  • How often you drive.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your gender and age. 
  • Discounts that you qualify for. 

Typical discounts on car insurance include military, senior, and safe driver discounts. Some insurers will also provide further discounts if you complete a defensive driving course or if you remain with that insurer for a specified amount of time. 

3. How to Save on Gas Expenses With Gas Credit Cards & Apps

Gas prices consistently fluctuate and quickly add up, especially if you drive a lot for work, travel or leisure. Knowing how to save on gas will help you reduce your monthly auto expenses. 

One of the best ways to save more money on gas prices is to use GasBuddy or other similar mobile apps. The GasBuddy app provides you with gas prices in your immediate area in real time. These prices are reported through user feedback. By finding and visiting the cheapest station in your area, you may be able to shave several cents off each gallon of gas you purchase – meaning extra dollars in your pocket. 

Another great way to save on gas expenses is to use a gas credit card. These are reward credit cards that give you an incentive to pay for your gas with your credit card. The most common reward provided by these credit cards is cashback on your gas purchases. The amount you receive back from purchases can typically be between one and five percent, depending on the card. You may be able to get these cards through particular gas stations that offer them or major credit card companies.

4. How to Save on Auto Repairs With an Auto Warranty

If you know how to save on auto repairs, that can help you avoid overspending on some of the largest potential bills you will see as a car owner.

One way to save on auto care is to have a car warranty. An auto warranty can help pay for various types of repairs on your vehicle. Many of these warranties are offered at low, affordable prices since you would be putting money toward them each month. The types of repairs that a warranty covers vary based on the specific kind of warranty you purchase. So double-check the warranty policy before you buy and again before initiating repairs. 

Another way you may be able to save on auto care is by shopping around and comparing body repair shops and dealerships. Look for shops that offer discounts or coupons and use those incentives where you can save more. 

Finally, a third avenue for savings is DIY repairs – when they’re simple. You may be able to complete minor repairs on your own, such as replacing windshield wipers, lights, air filters, batteries, and so on. Just make sure that you have the right equipment and knowhow before working on these yourself.