Monday, August 14, 2006

How To Save Big Money On Your Car, Truck or SUV

By David Maillie

With the current price of gas at over $3 a gallon, the economy in a downturn, and no relief in site, we need to start conserving and saving everywhere we can. The car is a great place to start. Here are some tips from the National Institute on Highway Safety:

Don’t take unnecessary risks. You can get in an accident and get hurt and you can also get a ticket, fine or worse. Speeding greatly increases the odds of an accident. It also increases fuel consumption and can result in a ticket. A speeding ticket alone can cost over $200 in fines and court costs easily plus there is added insurance points and costs which can easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Basically, do not speed as it will cost more than you realize.

Scope out your local gas stations and find where the closest and cheapest gas is. It does no good to buy cheaper gas 30 miles away and burn half of it driving there and back. Use the internet as there are many websites that will actually help you find the lowest prices on gas and tell you exactly how far they are from you. It’s amazing the price difference in gas stations. In one mile from my house there are 2 gas stations and one is $.12 per gallon cheaper than the other. Twelve cents may not sound like much, but on a average 20 gallon fill up that will save you $2.40. With regular driving, that could result in a free tank every month or two.

Here’s a great way to save money on your car that most people still will not do, shop your car insurance. We see it on TV every day in ads from Geico and Progressive. By shopping your auto insurance you can save hundreds and even thousands in some cases. Its not because your current insurance company or agent is ripping you off, its mostly due to the fact that each company has different underwriters, qualifications, and standards. What may be a safe or low premium car for one company may not be for another. If you shop your car imsurance around, you will be amazed at what you find. You could save enough for a mortgage payment! Loyalty will end up costing you big, sorry insurance agents, but its true.

Be safe. Keep your car maintained. This includes everything from oil changes on time to following the manufacturers recommended maintenance plan for your car. Notice we said manufacturers and not dealers. Most car dealers are purely interested in generating service revenue and will recommend many unnecessary and expensive treatments and services over the life of your car. Want proof, compare he manufacturers recommendations with the dealers. You will always see a big difference. Just remember this, regardless what the dealer says, the manufacturer built your car, designed your car and backs your car. I would always take the manufacturers word over the dealers.

These are just a few great tips that will definitely save you big money on your car, truck or SUV.

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