These easy to implement Tips to Save Money on Car Expenses can save you up to $100 every month for a total savings of $1,200 a year. Get tips about saving money on car payments, car insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, registration, and gas. Most only require a phone call or one small change in your routines.
| A few weeks ago, I introduced this series on how to save $1,000 each month on your expenses. Over the next 12 weeks, our series will cover ten different monthly expense categories. My goal is to save $100 on each.
Tips to Save Money on Car Expenses (SAVE UP TO $100 EACH MONTH!)
The first category I reviewed was my transportation costs – car payments, insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, licensing, gas, etc.
In the $1,000 Challenge book, Brian shares three levels of intensity, from moderate to severe, when trimming costs:
- Freeing up cash by lowering costs.Preview (opens in a new window)
- Making ends meet when you’re struggling by getting creative without damaging your credit.
- Pinching pennies so hard that Lincoln gets a headache because when you’re in dire straits, you need to preserve your cash and income while taking care of basic necessities.
I reviewed my bank statements to see exactly how much I’ve been spending in each of these areas.
I found that the bank statement showed recurring weekly and monthly expenses like gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. I had to dig into my records for annual expenses like registration and taxes.
My “level of intensity” was freeing up cash by lowering costs. Thankfully, my expenses were already pretty low. Unfortunately, that gave me little room to save.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GAS
Our gas expense is higher than I would like, but I live about 20 miles from work and have kid drop-offs.
I normally get gas wherever is convenient on my path. If I intentionally use one of the Kroger fuel centers in my area, I can save around $0.15 a gallon.
I changed my air filter and ensured that my tires were inflated properly.
We’ll see if that provides any added fuel efficiency. For an even larger savings of $0.30 a gallon, I could patronize a locally owned gas station (not affiliated with any national chain).
I’m not going to factor this into my savings because it depends on their quality. I can’t risk damaging my car for a few pennies saved on fuel-ups. Be sure to check out this post I wrote about how to save money on gas if you are looking for more tips.
Savings of $42.90
HOW TO SAVE CAR Registration
The only savings my state offers is $1-$3 annually for renewing online on pre-paying for two to three years. My savings for renewing online – $0.08 each month! Also, be sure to pay on time, as there are probably penalties for paying late.
Savings of $0.00
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR PAYMENTS
Neither my husband nor I have a car payment. I drive a 2002 Ford Explorer and my husband drives a 1991 Nissan Pathfinder. If you have one, refinance at your local credit union, work on improving your credit to get a lower interest rate, and try making half payments to pay it off sooner and save on interest.
Savings of $0.00
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR INSURANCE
I requested online quotes with three other insurance companies. My current rate is better than all of them. I am not willing to drop the comprehensive coverage on my car since deer seem to be attracted to cars I drive.
As an added bonus, I added renter’s insurance to my plan, which results in a discount that covers its cost. SCORE!
My advice to you? Shop around. Carry the highest deductible you can afford. Be a loyal customer if loyalty discounts are offered. Sign up for electronic billing and autopay.
Savings of $0.00 (+ Gained another insurance coverage.)
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR MAINTENANCE
Neither my husband nor I are educated or trained in auto maintenance. Our best bet is to be on the lookout for coupons in the mail or available on major repair shop websites.
The best coupon I found was “Buy One Service, Get a Second Service 50%.” I would estimate that it would save me about $5 a month on each vehicle.
Savings of $10.00
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR REPAIRS
It’s hard to save on an expense you’re not sure you’ll have, so I will leave this item off. But, you can use the same tip I gave about car maintenance. Also, shop around. Get prices from several mechanics, if possible.
Savings of $0.00
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Each year as the value of our cars decrease, our personal property tax will slightly decrease. However, the calculated savings is only a few pennies each month on both cars. Paying on time will prevent penalties and interest, too.
Savings of $0.00
HOW I’M SAVING ABOUT $50 ON AUTO EXPENSES (EACH MONTH!)
The author cautions the reader– “willpower is a finite resource and, when you eventually run out of it, your grand penny-pinching plans will come crashing down. But cut your auto insurance bill once, and that savings is repeated — automatically — month after month after month, whether or not you manage to get up your gumption.”
I wanted to be completely realistic about this experiment. I’m not a radical change type of person.
So, that was my simple tactic – to cut my spending in areas so unnoticeable, I wouldn’t even realize they were happening but the savings would accumulate in my bank account each month and be redirected toward the Lifeboat Fund.
Here’s the running total for the whole series so far:
Total Monthly Savings: $52.90
I’m already $47.10 short of my monthly goal, so we’ll have to see if I can make it up next month or if it will take longer to catch up.
I’m remaining positive that I will still be able to meet my goal of saving $1,000 overall on monthly expenses. I figure there will be larger savings opportunities in some areas and smaller savings in others.
The next category of expenses I will review are utilities – electricity, natural gas, water, phone, and internet. Come back next week to see if I was able to trim $100 from my monthly utility expenses.