Vehicle expenses are a large part of many households' budgets. Like many families, you may have car payments for two or more cars, insurance premiums for these vehicles, and routine maintenance costs. In addition, unexpected repair bills can be painfully expensive. In fact, one stud from AAA shows that the average cost of keeping one vehicle on the road costs approximately $8,700 annually. Although owning vehicles may never be cheap, you can lessen the cost of your transportation.
No Idle Time
You may have heard the debate on what uses more gas: idling or restarting your car. The experts agree that idling will burn more gas and add to your vehicle costs each year. In fact, people waste approximately ¼ to ½ gallon of gas for each hour of idling, which can add up to approximately $140 each year. Idling your car in the winter to get the heater warm is not particularly effective, either. You will actually get warm more quickly by simply driving your car and allowing the engine to heat up. If your car is not moving, turn it off.
Of course, you need to drive your car regularly, but if you occasionally take alternative transportation, you'll save money on fuel and lessen the wear on your vehicles. If you need to make a quick run to the grocery store, try walking or riding your bicycle. Obviously, doing the weekly shopping this way is not practical, but if you need a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk, park your vehicles and get your exercise. Also, consider taking the bus a few times a week. You will be saving money while being kind to the environment.
Lower Your Insurance
You should always comparison shop when it comes to your insurance rates and make certain that they reflect the age of your vehicles. At a certain point, you may need to switch to simple liability coverage due to the lessening value of your car or truck. Other recommended steps include enrolling in a defensive driving course to take advantage of the discounts that many companies offer for this step and setting a higher deductible. For more information about how to reduce your premiums, contact Cornerstone Insurance Group or a similar organization.
Vehicle costs are always going to be a significant part of your family budget, but you can take a few simple steps to reduce these expenses.