Frugal Living Guide for Your Car

Saving money when it comes to your car doesn’t always come naturally to some people. It’s especially difficult when you don’t know much about a car besides how to make it start and stop. When it comes to safety though, you’re better off putting your money into a defensive driving course than you are getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles on the nose. Most should experiment for a while before they can decide on a strategy that works for them, but we’ll give you a few hacks so you can get the most of your car for less.

Look for Hidden Warranties

There’s the warranty that your car comes with, which may cover everything from roadside assistance to fault part replacement. But there are also other types of warranties and guarantees that aren’t as easily found in your glove box, such as the New Jersey Auto Insurance Discount. Whenever there’s a problem with a car, the manufacturer will either issue a recall, or they’ll publish a much smaller bulletin explaining the minor problem. Recalls are extremely public matters, and they aren’t done unless there’s a severe problem with the car. But Technical Service Bulletins may score you free or heavily discounted maintenance and part replacement. You can normally do this whether you’re within the warranty period or not.

frugal car care

Salvage Parts

Doing work for yourself is obviously one of the best ways you can keep your car frugal. It’s absolutely infuriating to hear that a seemingly minor repair is going to cost you hundreds of dollars. Looking outside the normal dealers and mechanics may end up saving you more than you think. For simpler repairs, say changing out a light bulb or putting in a car horn, you can likely find videos and manuals that will lay out the instructions for you in detail. You may even be able to get some pro tips from the people who run the salvage yard.

Get the Most from Your Oil Changes

Oil changes are part of being a smart driver when you’re out on the road, and they really can’t be overlooked. However, too many people end up getting oil changes far more frequently than they ever should. If you drive a newer car, you can normally drive it for up to 5,000 miles (providing you’re driving under regular conditions.) Each car varies, so it’s worth it to check your owner’s manual about the specifics. However, experts have seen no difference in engine performance even if the oil change lagged well behind the traditional advice about how often to change it out. Also, you don’t have to take it to the fancy places. Spending $20 for an oil change at a discount center is a perfectly acceptable way to keep your car running smoothly.

Don’t Pay Full Price on Tires

There are so many types of tires on the market that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re out looking for four wheels to fit your car. Those high-performance tires promise everything and then some, but do you really need them? Unless you’re taking your car to the driving course every day and lighting up the concrete, you likely need regular tires that can be purchased for a fraction of the price. If you don’t care much about style, then just the tires replaced with the same model that came with the original car. Big box stores like Sam’s Club or Costco may give you even more savings. You can also consider used tires, though they may not be quite as reliable as you’d like for them to be.