Fear of a recession is a great motivator to take a closer look at your finances. For many Americans, cars are a significant portion of their budget. AAA estimates that the average American will spend $1,062 more to buy and maintain a new vehicle in 2022 than in 2021. These costs include maintenance, gas, and tire costs.
However, just because the cost to own a car has risen doesn’t mean that you should have to spend more. These are some ways to recession-proof your car and save money on every trip.
Auto insurance less expensive
Combining your home and auto insurance coverage can save you money. According to a Progressive survey, 20% could be saved by combining your auto and home insurance policies.
Ask about discounts. Not all discounts relate to driving. You may be eligible for low annual mileage, no claims and good grades. Ask your provider if there are any discounts available.
Many insurers will allow you to show different proof of qualifications in order to receive a discount. You might be able, for example, to provide standardized test scores to home-schooled dependents in order to get a discount.
A higher deductible is a good idea. Monthly premiums tend to fall as the deductible increases. Calculate if increasing your deductible by $250, $500 or both would help you save money each month. If your car is inoperable or your insurance covers the repair costs, you will need to contribute towards your deductible.
Compare quotes from different insurers. You might get the same coverage but for less. Compare auto insurance rates to determine if you are eligible, particularly if your existing insurer has increased your rates in the last few years.
Get a lower price on car maintenance
Be aware of what your warranty covers. Avoid paying for unnecessary maintenance.
Legally, you can have maintenance done on your vehicle by non-dealership auto shops without affecting your warranty coverage. To have your warranty pay for the cost, you will need to use an authorized dealer — ask your dealer for a list.
Ask for quotes on any maintenance or repair work. Compare prices to find out if another auto shop offers better work for a lower price. Before allowing an auto shop to begin work, ask for an itemized estimate.
You can do simple maintenance yourself. You can search YouTube or TikTok for videos that show you how to safely change your oil, change your tire, or change air filters.
Purchase approved aftermarket parts. These parts are manufactured and sold by an outside company. These parts are often less expensive than the original equipment. They won’t usually affect your warranty if they are approved replacement parts. Aftermarket parts that are not approved may void your warranty and cause you to pay more in the future. To find approved parts, do your research.
You can save money by purchasing your own replacement parts from auto shops. Some shops won’t allow you to do this. Also, the auto shop may not offer warranty on the parts that you provide.
Lower the cost of driving
Respect the law. Tickets can quickly increase your car’s cost. Your insurance provider may raise your rates if you are caught driving in traffic. To minimize the chance of being fined, be careful with your speed and use your blinkers.
Be mindful of your fuel consumption. Speeding up your engine, revving the engine and then accelerating while idling for long periods of time can cause your gas tank to burn more quickly. To save money, you can use cruise control to lower your gas consumption.
There are many ways to save gas money.