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Save Money on Your Car

Lower your costs with these practical motoring tips.

Although cars can be expensive to buy, repair and maintain, there are ways you can keep your costs down. By following your car’s maintenance schedule and using a little common sense, you can increase your vehicle’s efficiency and save money, too.

No matter your car’s year, make and model, follow these tips to save money.

  • Only buy the gas with the necessary octane level. Buying a higher octane is wasting money.
  • Watch your speed. Fuel economy drops at speeds above 60 miles per hour.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. They’re not only hard on your car, they waste gas.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling. Save money and gas by turning off the engine if you anticipate waiting more than a minute.
  • Check your alignment. A misaligned vehicle causes tires to wear more quickly and forces your engine to work harder, using more gas.
  • Use overdrive gears and cruise control to improve highway fuel economy.
  • Lighten your load. An extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce fuel economy up to 2 percent.
  • Avoid using a roof rack. The wind resistance can reduce fuel economy by 5 percent.
  • Keep your engine properly tuned. This can increase gas mileage up to 4 percent.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and balanced. This adds life to the tires, shock absorbers and the suspension system.
  • Don’t ride with your foot on the brake. This causes premature brake wear and can increase gas consumption.
  • Change your oil according to the owner’s manual.
  • Replace air and fuel filters regularly. Clogged filters can reduce gas mileage up to 10 percent.

Another way to save money is by having the right insurance. Make sure you’re getting any applicable discounts (examples: good student, accident- and ticket-free, and multiple policies). Also, consider raising your deductible and, if you have an older car, dropping collision and comprehensive coverage.

If you have questions about your insurance, contact an American Family Insurance agent near you.

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