Do you feel like you spend more time in your car than you do in your home? Do you have a long work commute, oodles of miles while doing your job or run your kids all over town for their extra curriculars? If so, you might feel like you’re watching life through a windshield while you belt out the lyrics to that song you’re hearing for the fifth time today.
That’s OK, especially if you like your car. But are you paying too much for it?
If you’re driving 50 miles per day, it feels better if you know you’re saving money. Here are a few ideas to pay less for your extensive time in the car.
Pay for Better Tunes by Saving at the Pump
Putting on miles means burning through a lot of gas, even with a fuel–efficient car.
If you’re a savvy saver, you probably already use GasBuddy to help you find the cheapest gas station in town. It’s an easy — and free — way to avoid overpaying.
A quick look at gas prices on GasBuddy for urban areas such at Tampa, Dallas and Chicago shows you could save as much as 25 cents per gallon just by choosing the right gas station.Wow.
But once you pull up to the pump, here’s something else you can do: Get a discount card from GasBuddy to automatically save 10 cents per gallon on your first purchase (and 5 cents per gallon after that).
The free discount card is tied directly to your checking account. It works at 95% of gas stations throughout the country, so you don’t have to drive around town just to find “your” station. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a rebate — it’s immediate savings.
Simply and securely sign up through GasBuddy. Connect your bank account, enter your address, and GasBuddy will put a card in the mail.
Find out Whether You’re Paying Too Much for Car Insurance
When’s the last time you looked at your car insurance plan? Don’t just renew your plan because it’s what you’ve always done. See if there is a better plan out there for you, your car and the way you drive.
Yes, there’s no getting around car insurance, unfortunately. But one way you could save money is by shopping around and comparing rates at least once a year. Less than 50% of us do that, according to this survey from The Zebra, though 81% of us report wanting lower rates.
So, just like you compare the prices of flights, shoes and laptops before purchasing, why not compare car insurance?
The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.
Here’s how it works:
1. Head over to The Zebra’s search platform. Enter your car’s year, make and model, and your ZIP code. Continue on to answer questions about your driving habits, your car and your life.
On the right sidebar, you’ll watch rates increase or decrease based on your answers. For example, if you’ve gotten into an accident that was your fault in the past three years, your rates will kick up. It’s interesting to see what effect your answers might have.
2. After answering some questions, it’s time to compare. The Zebra gives you an “Insurability Score,” which is similar to your credit score, except it’s for car insurance, and it teaches you how to get better rates. The site also gives you different options for coverage.
When you’re ready to consider your options and select a quote, you can also receive a phone call from The Zebra for additional support.
A nice representative (a real, live human) on the line asks if you want to speak with a specialist. If you’re truly interested in car insurance and want to ask all the questions, this could be the perfect time.
Otherwise, just keep shoppin’ around and weighing options through The Zebra.
You could save up to 50% on your insurance premium. According to ValuePenguin, the national average for auto is $941 or about $78 per month. Cut that in half, and you just saved $39 per month. Your number might even be better!
Get More Mileage out of Your Car Payments
When you bought the car you knew you’d spend a lot of time in, did you scour the banks, credit unions and internet to get the very best rate on your loan? If you’re like most people, you probably took the financing offered by the dealership, and that’s OK. But you could do better.
You might be able to save a nice chunk of change by refinancing your auto loan. The problem is that’s normally kind of a pain.
With auto refinancing, the biggest hurdle is the process of re-titling your vehicle, which involves dealing with your local DMV. And oh, my God, who wants to mess with that?
Never fear — MotoRefi’s digital platform handles all that technical stuff so you don’t have to. In a matter of minutes, you could qualify for a lower monthly payment, lower interest rate, or both.
MotoRefi partners with lenders — like community and regional banks — that can offer you the best rates. Once you choose a lender, MotoRefi handles all the paperwork, including the cumbersome re-titling process.
MotoRefi says it’s saving the average customer $100 per month or more. Checking for potential savings won’t impact your credit score.
MotoRefi is available in California, Connecticut and Michigan.
Your Savings Add up — Just Like the Miles
See how easy that was? Let’s tally the score.
Gas savings: $15 per month
Insurance premium savings: $39 per month
Car payment savings: $100 per month
Grand total: $154
Your savings may be a bit less, or they could even be more, depending your car and how much you drive. Considering just how much time you spend behind the wheel listening to the radio play that super popular song over and over, taking a few minutes to discover your savings possibilities could hit just the right note.
Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He drives 70 miles every day to his awesome job. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.
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