How to Save Money on Your Car

 

Jamie Ryan writes for Trucker to Trucker where you can find information on commercial truck financing and check out the latest deals on trucks across the country.

Whether you’re buying a new car or maintaining one that’s beyond warranty, you could be facing a hefty price tag to drive the automobile of your dreams (or even one that barely meets your minimum requirements).  If you find that you are unable or unwilling to foot the bill for your vehicular needs, but you simply can’t get by without a coach, then you should know that there are plenty of ways to cut your costs.  From leaving the lot to a total engine overhaul, you can save money by trying some of these easy alternatives to paying sticker price.

If you’re purchasing a new car, there are a few things you should ascertain beforehand.

1) For starters, you need to first find a car that meets your needs.

Facing a long commute and skyrocketing gas prices?  Consider a hybrid or fully electric vehicle.  You may pay a little more up front, but the savings will come back to you in reduced payments at the pump.  Of if you just need something to get around town, look into compact vehicles that aren’t as expensive as top-of-the-line SUVs.  Remember, all cars are built basically the same (engine, body, seats, and a steering wheel) so don’t get sucked into the hype and end up purchasing an exorbitantly priced hood ornament.

2) You may also want to look into possible discounts.

Buying a new car is ideal, but if you’re strapped for cash or facing bad credit, you may have to cut the bill a bit.  In this case, look into certified pre-owned vehicles.  They are often one or two years old, but they generally offer low mileage, have undergone a thorough inspection and tune-up, and many even come with a five-year warranty.  And the best part is, you may save up to half on the cost simply because they are used.  They’re practically new at a fraction of the cost.  Another great way to save is to use AAA.  If you’re a member, many dealerships will give you a flat rate that is only slightly above their cost (and way below retail).  This means you get a great price without any haggling.

3) As for how to save on your automobile once you’ve got it, your best bet is regular maintenance.

Pay a little now, save a lot in the long run.  Go in for service every three months or 3,000 miles and you’ll keep your car in tip-top shape (and catch minor problems before they become major headaches).  Don’t forget, there’s also a lot you can do yourself.  Fluid and filter changes are a cinch with the right tools, so unless your warranty demands it, don’t take it to the service station for this basic maintenance.

4) And finally, don’t forget insurance.

A car that isn’t paid off generally requires full coverage insurance, but once that time has passed consider switching to liability if you need to save some greenbacks.  If you are a homeowner, you may also be able to combine insurance policies in order to get a discount, so don’t hesitate to consult with your agent.  Of course, the best way to save in this particular arena is to be a safe driver.  So leave your hot-rodding, lead-footing ways in the dust and be careful and courteous whenever you get behind the wheel.  Nothing will end up costing you more than an accident, whether you are at fault or not