Save Money: Car Ownership

Late model carThere are countless ways to save money. We bring a series of money-saving ideas to you. Here is the long list of ways to save money on your car. If you have any additions or comments, let us know.

Automobile Ownership Savings

Consider downsizing your car taste. Buy something more practical than expensive.

Grab a tax break. Sign up for your company's transportation reimbursement account, which lets you pay up to $230 in monthly parking fees with pretax dollars. (You can set aside the same amount for mass-transit costs.) Savings: about $80 a month.

Carpool to work or around town doing chores with a colleague or friend. If you do not know anyone try carpoolworld.com or erideshare.com.

Buy a good commuter bike ($500) and cycle to work as the weather permits. Do that six months a year and you'll save $250 a month.

Take public transportation.

Keep your car as long as possible.

Save on Gasoline

Pay in cash. Many gas stations give a cash discount. This is actually a safety factor, too, because some unscrupulous stations have credit card/debit card readers that will swipe your information.

Gas station credit cards give rebates on gas purchases. Make sure the balance is paid every month or the interest charges will more than nullify the gas savings.

Warehouse club membership allow use of member's gas pumps that can save about 10 cents per gallon.

Supermarket loyalty rewards. Many large supermarkets give gas discounts if you buy a minimum amount each month.

 

Better Driving Habits

Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving on the highway -- speeding, rapid acceleration and braking -- can lower your mileage by 33%.

Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 miles per hour.

Keep tires properly inflated. Check your owner's manual to list your vehicle's proper tire pressure, buy a good dial-type pressure gauge ($8), and check your tires once a week. Keeping them properly inflated can improve your mileage by about 3% and extend tire life. Do not guess at proper tire inflation - use a gauge.

Empty the trunk. Don't carry around unnecessary items, especially in small cars. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles-per-gallon by up to 2%.

Close the windows on the freeway. Driving with the windows open puts a big drag on the car.

Consolidate errands. Organize your day so you are out only once doing errands.

Get your car tuned up regularly. Make sure the air filter is not clogged as it will reduce mileage.

Many cars can use synthetic oil which is slipperier than regular oil. This reduces wear and tear and provides an increase in gas mileage.

Shop for gas at places like gasbuddy. Prices can vary significantly in a small locality.

Car Insurance Savings

Raise your deductible. Going from $250 to $500 could save 7%. Jump to $1,000, and you'll save 14%.

Cut out collision coverage. Got an older car? If it's worth less than 10 times what you'd pay in a year for collision (check at kbb.com), drop the coverage.

Dig for discounts. Save up to 15% with breaks for safe driving records and good grades for teens. Some insurance companies will give a discount if you have LoJack theft recovery installed.

Shop around. Compare prices at insweb.com. You may get coverage at up to $300 less than you pay now.

Pay as you drive. In 15 states, Progressive allows drivers to plug a device into their cars that monitors driving habits and miles. Possible savings: up to 30%.

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