Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Unexpected Ways to Save Money on Your Auto

There are ways to save money on motoring that are less well-known than the usual ones of combining auto and home insurance and having the vehicle tuned regularly.

You shouldn't choose a fancier auto if your retirement or debt management will suffer as a result. Experts generally recommend that no more than 20 percent of after-tax income be spent on all a household's vehicles, which includes not only payments for the auto, but gas, insurance, and maintenance. You shouldn't automatically succumb to dealers' offers of “free” gas for a year or a free cruise if you make a purchase. If such lures are presented to you, you should evaluate exactly what benefit they would gain you.

You can reduce the cost of car insurance by improving your credit rating. Statistics have shown a correlation between poor credit and speeding tickets and crashes. Another tip for insurance is to raise the deductible, which will result in a lower monthly payment.

Every year sees lists of the most commonly-stolen autos, and before making a purchase, it's wise to ensure that the model you're considering doesn't feature. A study by the University of Auckland, New Zealand, found that brown cars carried the highest risk of auto accidents causing serious injury. Green and black cars also had higher risks. It has been suggested that this is because lighter cars are more visible. The chance of such an accident involving silver autos was 50 percent less.

Still on the subject of car color, studies have demonstrated that some models and colors are more likely to be stopped for speeding and consuming your valuable time, for instance red sports cars. Car reviews and other informal sources will perhaps inform you of these. In the United Kingdom, it's said that the police play “speeding snooker” - stopping a red, then another color, then another red, and so forth.

You'll save money if you drive your auto for longer, which surveys have shown that more people are doing. The vehicles of today are built to last longer, and you should test this. Some manufacturers offer 10-year warranties.

Accessories should be purchased after the auto itself: such things as roof racks, better wheels, alarms, and sound systems. Dealers frequently tack considerable mark-ups to accessories, so savings of as much as 50 percent are possible, as was the case with a portable NA VI navigation system for a 2009 Honda CR-V LX.

Where possible, you should conduct auto maintenance yourself. Rebuilding the engine or changing the transmission requires much knowledge and experience, but checking tire pressure and fluid levels, replacing lights, jump-starting a auto, and changing a tire, brake pads, or oil doesn't. It would cost from $40 to $75 for one hour of a mechanic's time. The savings from changing the oil yourself can be as much as 90 percent.

Hyper-milling is the adoption of driving techniques that maximize fuel economy. The originator of the term, auto expert, Wayne Gerdes of Clean, said it can improve fuel efficiency by between 15 and 20 percent, and people can be found who say the improvement is as much as 60 percent. Some tricks are to wear lighter shoes to allow for increased sensitivity when using pedals, following the slipstream of the auto in front of you, parking strategically to reduce maneuvering and leaving a parking space by freewheeling downhill. There is a community of hyper milers, where people will be all-too-eager to share information.
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