How Can I Make Owning a Family Car Less Expensive?

Colder weather is right around the corner, and chances are you’ve already started to worry about your car’s maintenance schedule. It’s important to keep your family car oiled and updated to prevent expensive repairs and unexpected breakdowns. But keeping your family car up-to-date with its maintenance schedule can be expensive on its own, too.

According to AAA, it costs $8,469 a year to own a vehicle that’s driven 15,000 miles annually. What can you do to bring down the price a notch? Here are a few tips you can use to make owning your family car a little less expensive.

Schedule your oil changes

An oil change is recommended about every 7,500 miles or every six months depending on which comes first. It may need to be changed every 5,000 miles if you’re using traditional oil rather than synthetic oil. Oil changes are one of the best ways you can keep your vehicle running longer for a lower cost. This is because fresh oil keeps the mechanics of your vehicle well-lubricated, reducing friction and overheating.

Shop around for insurance

In a perfect world, you’d be able to negotiate down your car insurance premiums. Unfortunately, even the best drivers can get slammed with unfairly high premiums. In fact, contract disputes are one of the top five types of disputes companies deal with. That said, before you sign a contract, make sure to shop around at different insurance companies so you can find the right insurance rates that work for you.

File a claim against your insurance company

Penalties for a first DUI offense include license suspension, fines, community service, mandatory attendance at an alcohol program, mandatory overnight incarceration, and the required installation of a car ignition locking device. However, if you were the victim of an accident because of another driver’s DUI, your insurance premiums shouldn’t be going up. If they do, make sure to file a claim against your insurance company to get your premiums back to normal again.

Follow your driver’s manual

Your driver’s manual is like the sacred text of your vehicle. It tells you when your car needs maintenance and when. When you know your driver’s manual front-to-back, you’ll be able to tell when your local mechanic is just trying to charge you for an extra repair that doesn’t need to be made. For instance, if you know that your oil doesn’t need to be changed for at least another few months, don’t let your mechanic talk you into getting it done now.

Make cruise control your best friend

You might not think anything of your lead foot if you’re still going the speed limit, but regularly speeding up and slowing down as you drive can make your family car guzzle more gas than it needs to. When there’s little to no traffic or you’re driving for a long period of time, make sure to turn on your car’s cruise control to keep your gas use under control.

It’s no secret that owning a vehicle can be expensive. But by following the tips above, you can help to keep your payments down throughout the year.

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