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How Changing a Few Driving Habits Can Save You Money

By on October 31, 2018
How Changing a Few Driving Habits Can Save You Money

Your driving habits may cost you more than you think. Having a lead foot or not taking extra caution with your vehicle translates into more damage to your vehicle and higher costs for fuel and repairs.

A vehicle is often the second highest expense, just after a mortgage or rent. There are many little things drivers do that wind up costing them more money. Fortunately, changing just a few driving habits can save you a bundle.

1. Learn the Slow Start

Accelerate slowly instead of hitting the gas pedal. With a V7 SUV, for example, revving up the engine when the light turns green could cost you an extra 25 percent. While that might not sound like a lot, the savings add up quickly. You’ll also save money on wear and tear on your car. Treat your vehicle gently and it will last longer and need fewer repairs.

2. Go Lighter on Loads

If you own a heavy duty truck, you may not worry too much about how big of a load you place on it. After all, there are leaf springs to protect the suspension and they are made to bear the heavy burden of an overloaded truck bed and keep the truck stable. Unfortunately, leaf springs can and do wear out and replacing them isn’t as cheap as you think. If they’re worn, your truck will sit lower and be less stable. If you fear your springs are flattened, it is likely the result of overloading your truck too many times.

Prevent this by making two trips instead of one and going lighter on your truck. Once your leaf springs flatten, they’ll need to be replaced.

3. Adjust Your Driving Hours

While it isn’t always possible to change when you have to drive, even a slight adjustment may save time spent sitting in rush hour traffic. If it’s an option to get to work 15 minutes early or cut your lunch break in half and leave before the afternoon rush hits, you’ll save on fuel costs, wear and tear on your car and aggravation.

For morning commutes, sign up for a nearby gym and get there early to avoid the rush. Or, simply go into work a little early and start your day slowly. You’ll receive brownie points from the boss for being at your desk before anyone else arrives.

4. Cut Down on Distractions

It’s easy to get distracted while driving. Your favorite song comes on the radio and you crank the volume and sing along. The Big Mac is calling your name, so you chow down while commuting to your kid’s school play. The cell phone rings and it’s a cousin you haven’t heard from in a while. Distracted driving is to blame for 25 percent of vehicle fatalities and many more crashes.

Getting in just one accident could raise your insurance rates and cost you more money. Do yourself a favor and commit to driving distraction free. It isn’t a guarantee you won’t get in an accident, but it will make you more aware of your surroundings and help you avoid the possibility.

5. Maintain Your Car Regularly

Regular maintanence saves you money because your car runs more efficiently and will be less likely to need costly repairs. When you’re on a tight budget, paying for new filters, hoses and such may seem like an expense you don’t want to deal with, but you’ll save money in the long run because your car won’t need costly repairs.

6. Reduce the Number of Trips

Cut down on the number of trips you’re taking to save on gas. Make a circular route, so you aren’t backtracking too much.

Buy Fewer Cars

Combining all of these techniques saves wear and tear on your car and keeps you from having to buy a new car as soon, which is a huge savings. Small changes in your driving add up over time.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington

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