While owning a car affords your great convenience while commuting, it comes at a cost. On average, each mile you travel in your car costs 61 cents, and the average motorist drives 15,000 miles a year. That brings the average cost of owning and operating a car will cost you a whopping $9,000 per year. That’s barring any major accidents and mishaps. Luckily, average means there’s room for improvement, and you can lower your car running costs even further.
In addition to choosing reliable services such as car maintenance and auto detailing, here are some uncanny ways to lower your car running tab.
Understand Marketing Gimmicks
It’s no secret that marketers are out to maximum customer spend and have refined their craft to an art form. They will send various juicy and irresistible upsells, offers, and promotions your way. Most of these gadgets and accessories are geared towards improving your motoring experience. While some upsells might be useful, others will hardly make a difference. Hence, you must learn to see through these gimmicks since they’re nothing more than a waste of money.
High octane fuel is one of the unhelpful motoring products to avoid. Despite the fancy marketing strategies, high octane fuel won’t improve your driving experience. It won’t supercharge your engine to enhance performance, get you better mileage, or make your car run more efficiently. In fact, all you’ll do is burn away good money. Unless the manufacturer states that the vehicle runs on high octane fuel, stick to regular gas.
The only time your car stands to benefit from high octane fuel is when it’s on the verge of knocking. Of course, that won’t fix the problem but only delay the inevitable. Switching to a pricey fuel amounts to treating the symptoms. If your car has engine trouble, you should have an expert fix it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the higher the chances of the vehicle seizing and dying on you.
Rethink Your Driving Habits
Surprisingly, you can achieve all the benefits promised by high octane fuel by improving your driving skills. The way your drive your car determines its performance, fuel efficiency, mileage, and running costs.
Typically, you’ll have a high repair tad and lower gas mileage if you’re given to aggressive driving. Careening over corners, speeding over bumps and rough surfaces, and sudden braking will ruin your car. On top of that, it increases the likelihood of getting into an accident or getting a costly speeding ticket.
Having one speeding ticket too many can mar your driving experience or even ruin your life. A single moving violation can result in $75 to $400 fines, depending on the severity of your offense. Unpaid fines attract hefty interest and can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. And this triggers a series of unfortunate and ruinous events.
At this point, the state can pull your driving license until you pay off the fine. That might lead you to lose your job since you’ll have trouble commuting to work. Without a source of income, you’re likely to have a hard time paying off the fines. Failing to pay a speeding ticket and the accrued fines could land you in jail.
Consider Your Parking Spots
Where you park and leave your vehicle has a direct impact on your car running bill. Leaving it in unsafe neighborhoods increases the likelihood of being vandalized. Also, leaving the car under the harsh glare of the sun causes you to spend on maintenance. Sunlight is highly damaging to your car’s interior and paintwork.
When left in the hot sun, the car’s bodywork will absorb and store the sun’s heat leading to paint discoloration. Primarily, the sun’s damage is seen on the boot, hood, and roof. Leaving a locked car under the hot sun compounds the damage. The heat is trapped inside the vehicle, causing extensive damage to the interior. The dashboard and upholstery will fade, stiffen, and dry up before splitting and cracking.
Indoor parking garages are the best options, but you need to pick your spots carefully as well. Parking spots in high foot traffic areas increase the likelihood of dings and dents on the bodywork. Parking next to entries and exists could result in recurring damage to your bumper and lights.
There are no magical fixes to keeping your car in good condition without running up a huge tab. Regular preventive care coupled with superb driving practices will help lower your vehicle running costs. It’s the only way to improve your driving experience reliably. Most quick fixes are marketing gimmicks that will drain your wallet without any tangible benefits.