October 19th, 2010

10 Ways To Save Money On Your Car You Must Try

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save money on car

**Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays here at Credit Karma Bootcamp: Your 31-Day Credit Health Plan.**

Using your car might seem like necessity in this day and age. But with gas prices flirting above the $3.00 mark in some areas and a 9.6% unemployment rate forcing many consumers to pinch pennies, owning a car can burn a big hole in your pocket.

If you aren’t prepared to ditch your car altogether, cutting down some car costs can will save you tons of money. Check out these 10 ways to put saving money on cruise control.


  1. Find cheaper gas – Everyone wants to score cheaper gas. Take the guesswork out of looking for it by going to BillShrink.com and using their Gas Station finder. The feature lets you input your address, your car model, and your gas usage, and looks for the cheapest gas for you in your area. Saving a few dollars every time you fill up your tank adds up after just a couple fills.

  2. Switch auto loans – The biggest chunk of change you’re paying with your car is, well, your car. Switching auto loans can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year, and thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. If you have better credit now than you did when you first financed your car, you can get a lower rate and better terms on your loan. Credit Karma’s free My Savings dashboard shows you, based on your credit report information and the day’s best auto rates, a list of potential auto savings recommendations and shows exactly how much money you could save.

  3. Find affordable car repair – Never get ripped off again the next time you visit a mechanic or garage. Repairpal.com is a great free site that prices common repairs according to car model, year, and your location. So the next time you walk into a garage for car maintenance, you have a solid idea of how much you should be paying and negotiate the price of your repairs.

  4. Maintain your car to avoid costly repairs – Curb some costs of car maintenance by taking care of your car now to minimize wear and tear. Doing regularly scheduled maintenance on your car has its upfront costs, but it will save you in the long-run to avoid any expensive and unexpected maintenance costs. Three key things you can do are steps 5, 6 and 7.

  5. Check and maintain tire pressure – With properly inflated tires, your tires last longer to minimize replacement plus you’ll get better gas mileage (two birds with one stone!). Set tire pressure to your manufacturer’s recommendations and check every now and then. Also, look out for any out-of-place bulges or blisters on your tire that could lead to tire failure. Don’t forget to check the tread of your tires with “the penny test”– put a penny into the tire groove with Lincoln’s head toward the tire; if you can see the top of his head, the tread is too worn.

  6. Check car fluids – Your car’s lifeblood is the engine oil, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Check the levels of these fluids often to maintain necessary functions. Definitely learn how to check your own oil so you never have to pay a mechanic to do it again.

  7. Check the battery – If your car is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested for corrosion. Lots of wear on the car and hot weather can put additional strain on your car battery. It’s good insurance to check your battery, lest it goes dead while you’re on the road (which will cost you in tow truck costs and significant hassle).

  8. Compare auto insurance – “Save $___ when you switch to us!” auto insurance companies tell you. Take some of the legwork out of calculating how much you can save with different providers by using Credit Karma’s My Savings dashboard for auto insurance. Type in details about you and your car and you’ll immediately get a recommended list of providers who can save you money.

  9. Once you switch insurance, lower your premiums – Once you found the best auto insurance provider for you, save even more money by taking steps to lower your insurance premiums. MintLife has a list of smart ways to save on your insurance premiums, such as paying up front, adding a theft deterrent system, having multiple insurance policies, cutting your miles, and more.

  10. Walk once in awhile – Not using your car at all is the biggest money-saver on this list. Head to Google Maps and look up directions via walking or public transportation to see if you can take alternative mroutes to any of your usual destinations. Switching your routine to do some errands or your daily commute on foot or public transportation saves your car from wear and tear and saves money on gas and car maintenance. Plus it’s good for the environment and your health. Check out Walkscore.com, a cool site that shows you what’s walkable in your area.



CK Bootcamp Tip: Your car is a huge investment that takes significant money to maintain, whether it’s a few bucks in gas or hundreds in insurance. That also means there are many opportunities to save money with your car—so take advantage of them now.



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Credit Karma Bootcamp: Your 31-Day Credit Health Plan

Throughout October, Credit Karma Bootcamp gives you daily information on what you need to make wise, credit-savvy decisions when it comes to credit cards, mortgages, insurance, loans, and most importantly, ALL THINGS CREDIT.

Follow along to get financially fit and credit healthy.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.

3 Comments

  1. I have checked out these 10 ways to put saving money on cruise control. This blog is very well-informed. Your topic of concentration is also very excellent. You have plant a very significant concern. I liked it. Thanks for sharing with me.

    Buying New Car at 12:24 am on November 10, 2010
  2. A lot of cars with repairs needed are just as complicated as it is.

    Anonymous at 9:49 pm on July 8, 2011

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