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Is the cost of maintaining your car getting out of hand? Find ways to keep money in your pocket and keep on motoring.
It may be difficult to think of ways to save money when it comes to your car. Even little things can make a difference. Consider these options:
Buy regular gas
Depending on the make and model of your car, you may be able to use regular gas instead of the more expensive premium or super. Check your user's manual to make sure this doesn't harm your car.
Keep your tires inflated properly to get better gas mileage
Better gas mileage means you don't have to fill up the tank as often. Less trips to the pump means more money in your pocket. Also, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency article Tips to Save Gas and Improve Mileage.
Use a reputable mechanic
You're at the mercy of the mechanic when you take your car in for repairs, so it's imperative you use someone who's trustworthy to avoid paying for unnecessary repairs. Check with family and friends for a recommendation. You can also check the website of the Car Talk public radio program, which has a Mechanics Files database.
Perform regular preventive maintenance
Scheduling maintenance for your car at regular intervals will allow you to spot problems before they become disasters, such as discovering loose belts before they crack or break.
Change your own oil
If you have the time and the ability, you'll be able to save approximately $80 a year that you can use for something else - like paying down your debt.
Carpool to work
Driving less saves money on gas, maintenance, and the "wear and tear" on your car. You may even enjoy the conversation on the highway in the morning.
Shop around for car insurance
Having excellent car insurance doesn't mean it has to be expensive. Check around every year or so to see if you can get similar coverage for less. See the Insurance Information Institute article 9 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs and the blog article 10 Expert Tips for Saving on Car Insurance.
These are just a sampling of ways to manage your expenses. Finding others that suit your situation will help you gain control. For more ideas on thrifty living, see the brochure 66 Ways To Save Money.
For more information on personal finance, search the CareOne Credit Knowledge Center Articles.
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