You undoubtedly have at least one car or truck that you use for your basic transportation needs. According to a national motor club, the cost of owning and driving one vehicle now costs over $7,000 a year! This comes out to about 47 cents a mile if you drive the average 15,000 miles a year.
While travel is a basic necessity, and you have no choice but to pay the necessary expenses to own a vehicle, you can effectively reduce the costs of your car or truck.
This process is painless, easy to do, and very rewarding. I guarantee you that you’ll feel an uplifting sense of achievement when you see your checkbook balance getting fatter, while your transportation expenses dwindle down.
Don’t get taken for a ride! Read on and find out how you can lower your transportation expenses!
Three Important Questions to Consider
Take a look at the vehicle(s) you presently own. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you own too much vehicle for your needs?
This translates to, “Do you drive a super duper, gas-sucking, jacked- up-mile-high, four-wheel drive monster truck even though you don’t live in the Rocky Mountains?” (Trust me- “Been there, done that!” I love four wheelers, but not the poor gas mileage.)
There may be some logical reason for you to drive a four-wheel drive vehicle, or a van, or an SUV. I’m simply suggesting that you seriously consider what your vehicle is costing you then compare those costs with the actual need.
2. Do you have equity in a car you no longer need to use frequently?
What about that “spare” car sitting in the driveway? Do you really need it? Or could you save some bucks by downsizing your vehicle list and selling the spare? It’s a method of maximizing your income by simply minimizing your outgo. The less vehicles, the less money you’ll spend on monthly auto payments, maintenance, insurance and operating expenses.
Pass By the Gas Station More
No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, there are several ways you can economize on your fuel costs. Try these money-saving tips now:
1. Consider carpooling with co-workers in back and forth to your workplace. Most of your road miles are probably spent driving to and from work, why not share them? Save wear and tear on your own vehicle by sharing a ride with at least one co-worker.
2. Walk more, drive less. This is especially true if you live in the city with many businesses nearby. If you live outside the big city like we do, you have to drive everywhere. But, if possible, the next time you need to pick up your mail at the post office, consider tying on your walking shoes and taking a stroll over there. You’ll save gasoline, and, anyhow, the exercise is good for your health.
3. Find the lowest fuel prices. Of course it doesn’t make sense to actually drive around comparing gas station prices. But during your normal travels, be sure to check the road signs of every station you pass. Then, when you need to fill up, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what each station charges per gallon. You can visit the cheapest station and save some cash there.
4. Avoid “jackrabbit starts.” When you put the “pedal to the metal”, you not only waste fuel, but these starts also cause undue wear and tear on your vehicle.
5. Dodge making several “quick trips.” (Pun intended.) Instead, plan on making one long trip to get your errands done in. Make a list of the places you need to visit and do it all at once. Keep in mind that every mile you drive costs you roughly 50 cents. Therefore, if you drive your car or truck just 100 miles less a month, this will save you 50 bucks easily!
6. Kick the tires every month. No, not to take out your frustrations. Believe-it-or-not, one under inflated tire can cause an estimated 5% increase in your fuel costs, not to mention uneven wear and tire! Check the pressure in your tires with an air gauge and make sure they’re properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications.