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8 Tips To Save Up To $3000 Per Year On Your Car

8 Tips To Save Up To $3,000 Per Year On Your Car
Janelle Gonzalez

Motoring Expert

Feb 28, 2017

So, we did the research and crunched the numbers to come up with the top 8 car money saving tips.

If you follow them, you can save yourself around $3025 per car, per year-not too shabby, huh?

1. STICK TO YOUR SERVICE SCHEDULE: $250

It’s certainly a temptation to extend your car service in an attempt to save money. Sorry to break it to you – but that’s a false economy. The worst cars we see at Blue Toro (and by that I mean those with the biggest repair bills) are almost always the ones that haven’t been regularly serviced and maintained. From water pump failure, to oil leaks to complete engine replacements, skipping just one service or even delaying a couple of months can leave you with any number of problems and thousands of dollars in damage.

2. LIGHTEN THE LOAD: $270

Did you know that an excess weight of 100kgs in your car equates to approximately 4% extra in fuel, or $70 for the average Australian? It also adds extra load to your tyres and brakes causing them to need replacing sooner. If you punch that out in numbers; replacing your brakes and tyres six months earlier than necessary would equate to an extra $200 for the average sedan over a typical five-year life of a vehicle. So keep the golf clubs, gym gear and pram at home when you don’t need them.

3. TRY OUT MOBILE SERVICING: $300

So normally you take your car to get serviced in the morning. You then find a way to get yourself to work or back home. At the end of the day you repeat this to pick up your car. On occasion your mechanic calls to tell you they need the car for another day. If you actually make a living from your vehicle, this costs you a day or two in wages. However even if you don’t, there’s a time and transport cost.

This is one of the main reasons that many car owners are now switching to a mobile mechanics service. If a mechanic can come to your home or work, you have little or no downtime. Instead of a full eight hours without your vehicle, a service may take only 1–2 hours while you’re sitting at your desk working away. While quantifying this can differ greatly, a day lost in wages for the average Australian earning $77,000 is $220, add a return taxi fare of $80 and you’ve suddenly lost $300.

Save Up To $3,000 Per Year On Your Car

4. REVIEW YOUR CAR FINANCE: $320

Are you able to pay off a little more on your car loan each month? Because on a typical $30,000 car loan at 8.5% interest, over five years, if you paid an extra $100 per month you’d save $1,600 and 13 months of the life of the loan, or $320 per year.

Or maybe you could consolidate your car debt into your mortgage at a lower interest rate? If you’re able to take a $20,000 balance from an 8.5% car loan to a 4.9% mortgage and keep up the same monthly repayments over a five-year term, you’ll save $2000 in interest, or $400 per year.

5. SHOP AROUND ON YOUR INSURANCE: $350

Comparing insurance policies, premiums, and payment options is a nightmare. That’s why most of us ‘set and forget’, letting it auto renew each year because it’s all too hard to shop around again. This could be costing you hundreds per year. According to Canstar, the following tips will save the average person around $350 per year on their car insurance…

-Look at new quotes, the older your car gets the cheaper it will become

-Purchase online instead of over the phone

-Vary your excess, sometimes a little extra excess equals a much smaller premium
-Look for packages with other cars or home and contents

-Pay the entire year up front

-Restrict your drivers to over 25 if you can

-Choose optional extra’s carefully because many you don’t need

-Take advantage of “no-claim” years on your parents insurance

-Add security measures to your vehicle, like an alarm or immobiliser

Save Up To $3,000 Per Year On Your Car

6. LEAVE THE DEALERSHIP (IT WON’T VOID YOUR WARRANTY): $350    

Dealerships want you to believe they know your car best and taking it anywhere else will void the warranty. It’s simply not true. According to the law, the warranty will remain intact even if your car is serviced by a licensed repairer following your logbook schedule. Even if you have fixed-price servicing, or some other incentive, it’s worth shopping around prior to your next service. Remember, it’s not just the service you’ll be up for—over time you will need parts replaced and possibly some repairs, which often fall outside fixed or ‘free’ schedules that the dealers put you on. For example, a basic service package for a Mazda 3 costs around $280 at Mazda. The average mechanic will charge approximately $200. The price difference increases dramatically when you factor in major services and up-sells.

7. FILL YOUR TYRES 5-10 PSI HIGHER: $420

Research and opinions vary greatly on this, so much so that it was the subject of a MythBusters experiment. While all agree that under-inflated tyres cost money, the question is how much? If you take the results of the MythBusters experiment, a tyre that is under-inflated by 15% (or 4.2psi for the average car), will use 1.2% extra fuel. A car that is over-inflated by 15% (or 4.2psi), will save 6.2% on fuel. In practical terms, if the minimum recommended psi for your car tyres is 28, running them at 24 will cost an additional $37 per year on average. Running them on 32 will save on average $193. We recommend pumping tyres to 5-10psi above what is recommended, remembering that the recommended is the minimum pressure. Filling your tyres 5-10psi higher (or 38 in this experiment) you would save around $420 per year.

8. DRIVE LIKE A CHAUFFEUR, NOT A TAXI DRIVER: $765

It may be a surprising #1 car money saving tip but the truth is that those with lead feet pay more for fuel, tyres, brakes and car servicing. Every time you accelerate, your car burns fuel. The more you accelerate, the more fuel you burn and the heavier you need to brake. Reduce maintenance costs conservatively by at least 20% by accelerating slowly and braking less. For the average car owner, that’s $350 in fuel per year. You’ll also get roughly an extra year from your tyres ($200), six months from your brakes ($115) and you won’t have to bring your car in early for a service ($100).

 

Now that you’ve got your list, all that’s left to do is start planning what you’re going to do with all that money you save – summer holiday anyone?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Janelle Gonzalez

Motoring Expert

Corporate escapee and mechanic’s wife Janelle Gonzalez has spent the last 24 years in garages, pit lanes and on road trips. Living a double life - corporate by weekday, trackside on the weekends - she shares her husband’s passion for cars. She has now turned her skills to building Australia’s first national mobile mechanic franchise. Her mission is to help Australians trust mechanics by educating car owners and returning to good old fashioned service values, while changing the lives of mechanics and their families.

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