It’s almost the time of year to make resolutions. While many people make New Year’s resolutions for their health and finances, what if you made resolutions for your car this year?
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That’s right, your car! Some simple changes, actions and strategies regarding car maintenance, purchases and habits can save you a lot of money in the coming year. Experts explain 10 car solutions that can save you thousands of dollars.
Adopt fuel-efficient driving habits
The way you drive can significantly affect fuel economy, according to Joe Giranda, director of sales and marketing for CFR Classic.
“Rapid starts and sudden stops, speeding and idling for long periods can deplete your fuel tank faster,” he said.
If you want to save money on gas, he suggested, “Embrace smoother acceleration, stick to speed limits and turn off your engine during long waits.”
As a bonus, Giranda said, it’s not only better for your wallet, it’s also kinder on the environment.
Change your driving habits
Similar to the previous advice, DriveSafe Driving Schools executive director Tariro Goronga advised drivers to avoid aggressive practices such as sudden braking and acceleration.
This will not only make you and others safer, he said, but “[it’s] one of the easiest ways to save money on gas. You can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 20% on highways by maintaining a constant speed and using cruise control.”
A change how you can also reduce the number of miles you drive. Goronga said that by organizing your trip and running errands, you’ll also save money on gas.
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Get regular maintenance
Don’t wait until your car breaks down to service it, Giranda urged. “Preventive maintenance is your best defense against major repairs down the line. Maintain a regular schedule for oil changes, tire rotations and brake inspections.”
By dealing with small problems before they escalate and getting regular tune-ups, you can potentially save a fortune on future repairs.
Consider tire health and alignment
A simple problem that can lead to significant wear and even poor gas mileage is improperly inflated tires and worn tread, according to Giranda. Make sure your tires are rotated often and replace them if they are worn too thin.
“Also, ensuring your vehicle’s alignment is under control can prevent tire damage and extend tire life, saving you from early, expensive replacements.”
Think green with your next car
If you’re in the market for a new car, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle in 2024.
Giranda explained: “Although the initial costs may be higher, the long-term fuel and maintenance savings are significant. In addition, there may be tax incentives or rebates available.’
Compare insurance quotes
One of the many necessary car expenses is car insurance. But don’t just take the first price you get, suggested Jessica Chase, vice president of Premier Title Loans. I’m shopping.
“Auto insurance can be priced differently,” Chase said. “That’s why it’s so important to research and compare prices before choosing insurance.”
When looking for the best auto insurance, Chase said it’s a good idea to research the different types of coverage available.
“For example, Public Liability insurance will only cover losses incurred if you cause an accident. You must get collision or comprehensive coverage if you want to be covered in the event of an accident that is not your fault.’
Make sure you get quotes from several insurance providers. “Prices vary widely between companies, so it’s wise to compare prices,” she added.
But most importantly, don’t give up coverage to save money; this could cost you more money if you ever have an accident.
Consider carpooling or public transportation
If you live somewhere with good public transportation, or can carpool with friends or coworkers, try to figure out a way to avoid driving every day.
Stamatios Zotos, mechanic and owner of Zotos Rent a Car, said: “This can significantly reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, as well as fuel and parking costs.”
Avoid unnecessary travel
Do your best to combine errands into one trip to avoid unnecessary driving, Zotos recommends. “Not only does this save fuel, it also reduces your vehicle’s mileage.”
Refinance your car loan
Especially if interest rates have dropped or your credit score has improved, the New Year is a great time to look into refinancing a high-interest car loan, Zotos said. “A lower interest rate can save you a lot of money over the life of the loan.”
Buy a used car
This could be a great year to buy a used car instead of a new one, Zotos said. “Let someone else take the depreciation hit. A well-maintained used car can provide the same reliability as a new one at a much lower price.”
Implementing these resolutions requires discipline and a little planning, Zotos said, but the potential savings make them well worth considering.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Highway to Wealth: 10 Car Resolutions That Could Save You Thousands