A car is an amazing convenience, and a very necessary part of life for many. But the costs associated with your ride most likely account for the second-biggest line on your budget, after rent or mortgage.
Read on for some sneaky ways around reducing your driving expenses, and take the sting out of your everyday cost of driving.
How to Reduce Your Driving Expenses
1. Reduce Your Fuel Consumption
Small changes to your everyday driving habits can cut down on the amount of gas you consume, and cause your savings to pile up. Try these simple driving hacks:
- Drive at an even, steady pace, and brake ahead of time. Aggressive driving and sudden stops can increase your gas consumption considerably.
- Stop idling. Not only is it bad for the environment, sitting with your car engine on wastes tons of fuel. Next time you’re waiting for a friend or stopped at a train, just turn the car off.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. If you haven’t checked your tire pressure in recent memory, now’s the time! Under-inflated tires can cause your vehicle to use more gas per kilometre.
- Use air conditioning sparingly, or not at all. Blasting the breeze eats up lots of extra fuel, so try to only use it when it’s really necessary.
2. Find the Best Gas Prices
Have you ever pulled away from filling up at one gas station, only to pass another that was advertising fuel at astronomic savings? Never let that happen again by downloading the GasBuddy app for iPhone or Android. It’ll tell you where to find the best prices in your ‘hood, allow you to leave reviews for your favourite stations, and give you the chance to win free gas cards! Just make sure you’re not actually on the road when you log in.
3. Use a Little Elbow Grease
Everyone likes a clean car, but the cost of keeping your wheels in sparkling condition can really add up. However, if you’re willing to put in a bit of time, you can save exponentially on cleaning costs. Instead of running through the car wash once a week, take your vehicle to a DIY car wash bay. For only a few dollars and a bit of your time, you’ll get a clean that’s frankly superior to most of today’s automated touchless washes. Then use one of their vacuum attachments (these can also be found at any gas station) to rid your interior of accumulated crumbs and dust. Pop a tropical freshener on your rearview mirror, and you’ll feel like you’ve got a whole new car – all for a fraction of the price of a professional wash and detailing.
4. Share the Love
Cars make life so much easier – and if you’re lucky enough to own one, you might consider sharing the wealth. Carpooling to work with others will cut down on your commute costs, is an awesome way to get to know your coworkers better, and will also grant you entry to the coveted carpool lanes! If you’re headed on a road trip or to a far-off festival, check local classified sites for ride-sharing opportunities. Not only will you get to split gas costs, but you’ll have someone to chat with along the way.