A used vehicle can be a great money saver if and when it’s maintained properly during its life cycle. This means regular trips to the local auto shop to have the oil changed, tires rotated, engine flushed, radiator checked and so on. If you do this over the course of ownership, then the vehicle will not only last you longer but it will require less upkeep and repairs later.
image via (Nopsa)
However there are simple things you can do to keep your overall maintenance costs down as you need them. Depending on where you prefer to take your vehicle and the general condition it’s in, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year via the four money saving ideas we present below. See our top picks.
How To Save On Maintenance Expenses For Your Used Car
1. Shop Around –
One of the smartest things you can do to save money when performing routine maintenance on your vehicle is to shop around. Instead of patronizing your local mechanic, try the one down the street or even in the next closest town. You don’t want to drive 45 minutes to a shop that offers a cheaper service as the savings are then negated via additional gas expenditure. But at least look around at other options and just stay close when shopping for a good deal. You might be surprised as to the savings you could have by simply looking up the various nearby service providers (in your area) and seeing who offers what and their price. After your research, it could come about that Car X offers a radiator flush for $129.99 but Midas has the exact same service for only $89.99 – so it pays to shop around indeed. That’s a huge $40 difference which you can instead apply towards next week’s gas expense.
2. Use Email Coupons –
Nowadays you would be hard pressed to find a retailer that doesn’t offer some sort of email marketing program. They want your email address to communicate with you about special deals, customer events, Holiday only sales and awesome coupons. These are the type of emails you want to receive and since you’re going there anyway for service, why not save in the process. Essentially it’s a win win for everyone, they get your business and you get a good deal. If you’re wondering how you score these email coupons? You do so by visiting your preferred shops website and looking around for the sign up link. Usually it will be prominently displayed on the homepage for all to see and all you need to do is provide your email address. If you don’t see it, give them a call and ask about it. They will be more than happy to accommodate.
3. Try A New Mechanic –
Although many individuals place a high level of trust in their mechanics and will usually not waiver or want to change, sometimes a new option might be a good idea. The best way to go about this though if you don’t want to choose just anyone is to ask around. Ask your friends and family members for some suggestions and who they use. Also remember this is for routine maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, spark plugs, etc – not for major body work or any heavy repairs. When you ask around be sure to let them know you’re on a path of frugality and you seek good – but low cost alternatives.
What do you do to save on routine car maintenance?
Do you DIY, do you shop around or something else entirely. Let us know below in the comment area.
Guest post contributed by Missy Diaz who writes for http://www.