In The Garage: Highway To Savings
As we move into your garage, we find one of the most expensive
purchases you'll probably ever make, other than a house. Today, we'll go over ways to save on all of your car expenditures, but stay tuned even if you don't have a car. Tomorrow is the last day of bootcamp, which means you'll be heading out into the world—even if you live in a big city without a car, we've got you covered with ways to save.
Get A Steep Discount On Your Car Insurance.
This is actually far easier than it sounds. Here are some of the easiest methods:
An advanced degree can win you up to 12% off of your car insurance bill. Make sure to tell your insurance company.
Take a defensive driving course. If you happen to have already taken one, tell your insurance.
If you own a home, you can get a discount for being stable and responsible.
Are you a teacher? This could save you up to 7.5%.
Having more than one policy with the agent or insurer can also help you negotiate down your total prices.
Note that tickets and accidents will raise your insurance payments, so always be on your best driving behavior.
Make Your Car Last Longer.
Preempt potential major issues by scheduling regular inspections every 5,000 miles. Make sure your tire pressure is correct, which will make your tires last longer, and help maintain your transmission, engine, and suspension. Maintenance is important because, after all, it's cheaper to replace a spark plug than an engine.
Pay The Best Prices For Car Repair.
Try the free RepairPal app for iPhones; if you don't have an iPhone, access the just-for-phones version of their website. Enter in the specific job you need on your car, and RepairPal will spit back a price estimate, so you'll know if you've received a fair quote. (This app is helpful even for those without their own cars because it'll help you find repair shops in the area, including user reviews, if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere in a rental car.)
Mind The Gas.
Here are a few ways to slash your gas costs:
Unload the trunk. The heavier the car, the less efficient your gas mileage.
Once you're on the highway, the speeding-then-hitting-the brakes method of driving can reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 33%, so keep it steady.
When you do have to fill up, check out BillShrink first to find the cheapest gas station in your area.
Words Of Wisdom For The Car-Less.
If you commute every day via public transportation, check with your employer to see if you can buy your transit pass with pre-tax money (TransitChek is an example of one such program). For instance, if you'd normally be taxed on a paycheck of $1,000 but your transit pass costs $100, then you would be taxed on $900 instead—meaning that you'd pay less in taxes total. If your city offers an unlimited pass on a monthly or other basis, do the quick math to see if that makes sense for you.
- Review the above car insurance discounts, and make a list of the ones you qualify for
- Call your car insurance company, and ask about discounts, as well as any other unpublished benefits.
- Make an appointment to get your car tuned up, if you haven't had it done within the past 5,000 miles.