Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saving money on your car expenses

I was very interested to read Getting from A-B Frugally by The Frugal Queen this morning and learn how she keeps her auto expenses as low as possible in England. Most of her tactics are directly applicable to the US and I could certainly do more in this category!

What we are doing though is helping.

1. Each time our auto insurance is renewed (every 6 months) I call the agent and ask if there is any way we can reduce the cost. This time we switched one car to "leisure use only" category as I am retired but Hubby is not. We also both completed an online driver safety course thus earning a discount. The good news is that we don't have to do it again for 3 years and we actually did learn some new things.

2. I group my errands/activities and try to have some days where the car sits at home.

3. We tend to buy gas at the same station but it is one that has one of the lowest prices per gallon.

4. This happened out of frustration as I drove to the car wash I usually use only to find it had changed to self-service. Well, I self-service washed it in my own driveway thank you very much!

5. We follow the car manual instructions for servicing diligently as we keep our cars for a very long time.

What don't we do that we could do?

1. Get a credit card that gives cash back for gas purchases. I am not going to do this as I can not bear to complicate our finances any further LOL.

2. Drive even less. I haven't yet sold Hubby on not running errands as he thinks of them on the weekend. Not many miles though.

3. Move to where we would only need one car/no cars or my give up having a car at home unless I took Hubby to work and picked him up on the days I need a car.

What do you do or think you might do to keep your car costs as low as possible.   


  1. I swear by my two credit cards that offer cash back -- anywhere from 1% to 5%. I always take the credit back to my card, so it's not complicated at all, and while it's not a big deal it's nice to get a $50 credit every once is a while. Also ... buy a car with good repair history as rated by Consumer Reports. Saves a bundle.

  2. Hi Juhli. Now that I am retired I am amazed at how often my car sits in the driveway. Thanks for the tip on insuring my car for leisure use. I will look into that. Rosy

  3. We don't own a car. Can't get cheaper than that... lol! We live in a fairly large city, and it's very easy to get around. :)

    1. That is great. I live in a large city and it is virtually impossible to get around without a car.

  4. We are likewise mulling over whether continuing to keep and maintain two cars makes sense, particularly when we are away half the year, leaving that underutilized car just sitting in our garage.

    We're thinking it might make sense to sell our second car at the beginning of our 'travel season' and then wait to see if we even miss it. when we return

    It does feel like a radical decision I have to admit. Particularly since our second car is my little dream car - a BMW two seater convertible which drives very much like the motorcycle I sold a few years ago. But the reality of maintaining it, particularly given how little I drive it and how expensive it is to service, feels increasingly foolish.

    1. I am hoping we can do this when we retire. The hope is to live near good public transportation and/or a car sharing site.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Some of these I have done naturally but some of these I had never thought of doing before and they are both creative and easy. I think the servicing aspect is a major one for me. I am never good about it but I do notice that the car consumes less gas right after services.

    Paige Hollingsworth @ Baldwin Motors Lincoln