*This is a sponsored post for AutoZone*
You can find out Ways to Save Money on Your Vehicle by reviewing my tips today. Even doing a few of them will help you get started on your vehicle savings journey!
1. Do Research
There are some great sources available for researching everything from reliability, comfort and gas mileage just to name a few when you start your vehicle search. Once you determine which vehicle is right for you, make sure you research price on that particular vehicle. Even if you are debating between a few vehicles, you can go test drive them, research price, then purchase. You just want to make sure you are getting the best deal possible, and sometimes that means waiting or having really great negotiating skills.
Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader, and NADA Guides are some of my favorite car research guides for price. Consumer Reports is also a fantastic source as it provides comprehensive research on all vehicles and years they were made. I’m a researcher so I always check Consumer Reports before making a large purchase like a vehicle. Your local library should carry a subscription and all you have to do is go in and ask to see the Car Guide and they should let you look at it while in the library. I usually make photocopies of what I need and take them with me!
2. Buy Used
If you haven’t heard it yet, a new vehicle loses up to 20% of its value once it’s driven off the car lot. If you were to trade it back in to that dealer you are only going to get their wholesale value. If you haven’t ever been talked into buying a new vehicle, just be prepared when you go to the car lot, because it will likely happen. You just need to know what you’re looking for and stick to it and don’t get persuaded! That’s the hard part.
3. Pay Cash
Save up for a vehicle. I know how challenging this can seem, but if you start saving before you need the vehicle, you’ll have enough once you need the vehicle. It’s all about planning. If you have a car payment, you are paying a lot of interest which isn’t gaining you anything. You end up spending a lot more money on the vehicle than it’s worth.
Example: $15,000 Auto Loan at 8.25% interest for 5 years. Your monthly payment is $305.94 and you pay $3,356.69 in interest over that 5 years (60 months), which increases your total cost from $15,000 to $18, 356.69.
If you saved $305.94 (what your monthly payment would have been) at 2.3% interest rate for 3 years, 11 months (47 months) you would save the $15,000 in cash to pay for your vehicle!
So basically you could save $3,356.69 by not paying interest and your vehicle is paid for 13 months earlier than if you had gotten a loan! This frees up another $3,977.22 ($305.94 X 13 months) to do something else with that money for those 13 months!
4. Compare Insurance Rates
There are many insurance companies around that offer auto insurance. Call or stop by several and ask for a quote for your vehicle. Make sure you ask for the same deductibles and coverages so you are comparing apples to apples. Also ask about discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts for auto drafting your payment and having multiple coverages (such as a home) amongst many others.
5. Locate FREE Services
Did you know AutoZone has FREE battery checkup and free testing on alternators, starters, and voltage regulators? They can also do an assessment if you have a “Check Engine Light” alert with their FREE Fix Finder Tool (not available in CA). Battery charging is also FREE at AutoZone while you wait. They can charge a 12 volt battery in 30 minutes!
This week I decided to go by my local AutoZone and ask them to help me with a FREE Checkup. This included checking on my battery, starter and alternator. My battery had been concerning me because when I would start my vehicle in the mornings it was slow to start. I just needed a little peace of mind!
I wasn’t surprised when my starter and alternator checked out just fine or that my battery was bad. I was able to get a new battery installed in about 20 minutes and I was on my way!
The AutoZone employees have always been very helpful to me. They’ve answered my most basic questions without making me feel like I don’t know much about cars (which I don’t). I always leave feeling like I received great customer service and honest advice. They also have integrity, because they don’t try to get you to purchase items you don’t need.
Saving money is important to me, and I feel great about receiving a great value at AutoZone. Right now to save even more you can download a coupon and save $7 off a purchase of $30 or more valid thru 4/29/16!
When I was visiting with a couple employees, they also mentioned they can install new windshield wipers and headlights and taillights for FREE as long as they’re easy to get to. I’ve actually had both of those done on prior visit and I saved so much money! I love the savings AutoZone helps me achieve with a little bit of “Do It Yourself” confidence.
6. DIY – Do Some of Your Own Maintenance
If you took a little time to learn how to do some basic services for your vehicle, you’ll end up saving. Now while I don’t recommend doing large jobs unless you’re skilled or do car maintenance regularly, changing your oil, replacing a fuse, changing a tire and keeping your fluid levels full will help keep your car in better condition over time.
If you are skilled and can take on a little larger job, AutoZone has a FREE Loan A Tool Program. Why buy a tool you’ll only use once or twice a year. You can borrow it from your local store for free! This would include tools for working on your air conditioner or engine to name a couple. All you do is leave a deposit at the store and when you return the tool, you get your deposit back! AutoZone really helps you save! They’re so helpful, so even if you’ve never done this before just go in and ask about the program and they’ll give you the full rundown of how it works!
7. Compare Gas Prices
Today I needed to fill my gas tank. At first I just pulled into the closest gas station without checking gas prices. I quickly pulled out my cell phone and opened my GasBuddy app (free to download) and found that another gas station on my way home was $0.10 cheaper per gallon! If I would have paid the $0.10 cents more per gallon on my 22 gallon tank that was nearly empty, I would have spent $2.20 more filling up than I needed to. I know that’s not a lot of money, but if you do that consistently (I fill my car about once a week, which is 52 times a year) that is $114.40 a year just in gas that you could have saved.
Also, you’ll notice some stations have a credit price and a cash price. Typically the cash price is at least $0.03 less than the credit price. Consider going in to pay cash prior to pumping, but don’t get distracted and spend more on junk food!
8. Keep Your Car
This is one of the best ways to save money. My husband has a very reliable car that’s 10 years old he drives back and forth to work and leaves out at the airport a lot. There is really no reason for us to get a different vehicle. It gets great gas mileage and has no mechanical issues.
If we were to get a new vehicle, and paid cash ($15,000) since we don’t really need a new vehicle we could have instead put that $15,000 into a college savings account for one of our kids. That’s a better use of our money.
Even if you don’t pay cash (even though I strongly recommend that) and you get a car payment that is $400 a month, you’re basically spending $4,800 a year that you could be saving or putting towards something else.
GIVEAWAY: Now that you’ve learned how to save money on your vehicle, I’m honored to be giving away a $100 AutoZone Gift Card for one of my lucky readers! Here’s how you can enter to win:
Comment – Leave a comment and share why you shop at AutoZone for a chance to win! Also, you can get a bonus entry by liking AutoZone’s Facebook Page. Just add a second comment letting me know you liked their page.
All Giveaways will end at 3:00 pm EST on 4/25/16. Winners will be selected at Random and notified by email. You will have 48 hours to respond to the email to claim your prize. I received compensation for hosting this giveaway from AutoZone, however all reviews and opinions are mine and are not influenced by receipt of product. Others may have a different experience. Open Only to US Residents age 18 or Older. Alternative Entry Method: Mail a 3×5 Card with your Name, Address and Phone Number to P.O. Box 8622, Springdale, AR 72762. Entry must be received by 4/24/16. Void where prohibited & Not Valid in All States.
This post is brought to you by AutoZone; the opinions are all mine.