How to Save Money Driving in 2012


With every year, we recognize the importance of our automobiles when we are rushing to deliver children back to school or when you’re making tracks back to work in order to pay off the splendours of the past holiday season. Entering 2012, the costs of owning a vehicle remains a heavily weight on individuals and families facing a time where expenses have risen quicker than income. As the indispensable automobile cannot be removed from the lives of many people, motorists will be searching for ways to save money this year.

Understanding the prospect of trading to a more fuel-efficient, budget friendly vehicle is not in reach for a great deal of motorists, a few considerations could help in reducing operating costs for a current automobile.


Drive a Well-Planned Route

Whether you have a modern dashboard GPS-based navigation system such as OnStar or a basic paper map, planning the ideal travel route can give a motorist much-needed perspective between point A and point B. On-line resources such as the Street View mode on Google Maps is a great technology acquainting drivers to unfamiliar routes (providing it was present when Google’s camera truck recorded the city or town). The most advanced in-car infotainment packages offering technology as XM NavTraffic and Ford SYNC Destinations relay important up-to-the-moment information on traffic conditions quickly enough to plan an alternative route.

It could also be calculated whether taking a vehicle into a major city is appropriate. In some instances, commuting using transit could be more cost-effective than parking within a city center.


Choose Regular over Premium Gasoline

Regular gasoline offers a difference of 28.5 cents per gallon over higher-octane premium gasoline nationally in the United States according to February 13th measurements recorded by the Energy Information Administration.

For high-output engines, many auto manufacturers strictly require the use of premium gasoline. Cars like the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Subaru Impreza WRX and the 2013 Lexus GS 350 will require minimum 91-grade premium fuel to sustain proper engine operations even during daily driving. However, for many other vehicles, the choice to use premium gasoline is an elective move. While turbocharged engines were once associated as requiring premium gasoline, mainstream use of turbocharger units has changed this course of thought. The General Motors Ecotec 1.4 liter turbocharged powerplant used in the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze is one example of a forced-air induction engine that requires only regular gasoline.

Numerous manufacturers publish “premium recommended” details relating to their engines. In this case, auto companies have developed powerplants to run optimally on premium gasoline. Six-cylinder Nissan engines as well as the 3.5 liter V-6 EcoBoost engines found in various Ford products recommend premium fuels but can run trouble-free on regular gasoline thanks to the engine computer’s recalculations. Normally robbing the engine of a few horsepower, the performance loss is negligible.


Shop for the Best Insurance Price

When it comes to auto insurance, loyalty to a particular company could end up costing a driver. Conducting your research long ago for find a cheap auto insurance policy, some drivers must find they are no longer getting the same unbeatable deal over other insurers. Depending on several changing factors that include driving record or vehicle, auto insurance premiums may not be providing the same deal over other insurance companies.

Benefiting more as a lasting customer than a loyal member of an insurance company, this is an area in car ownership offering potential savings in the several hundred-dollar range. Take some time ahead of an automotive insurance policy renewal to gather information on the options existing by switching to another company. Beyond simply collecting quotes, review bonuses and discounts that could be relevant to your life. Higher deductibles and usage-based car insurance are additional methods of obtaining the best deal possible.


Maintain Your Vehicle

Alright, so spending money on your vehicle might sound like a counter-active move to save money but there is a go reason to include this detail in considerations for operating a car. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, the money spent to handle regular preventive service to have a positive effect in the long-term.

When money becomes tight, motorists often overlook regular maintenance not realizing this neglect has the likelihood of fostering into larger problems. Not only leading to repairs that are more expensive in the future, allowing items of an automobile to go unchecked could be dangerous to vehicle occupants as well as other motorists.

While performing preventive maintenance more frequently than recommended service intervals will not hurt the vehicle, be aware this additional automotive work will cause you to burn through money. For changing fluids and other disposable parts (such as the air cleaner), there is also a consideration for environmental impact. While motor oil can be recycled and reprocessed, adhering to the vehicle’s oil change intervals is the best solution economically and environmentally. The old 3-month/3,000-mile adage for motor oil is no longer so universal on modern cars show please check your vehicle’s manual for the proper time. Some new vehicles also have an oil monitoring system that is regarded by at least some mechanics as reliable. Engine oil is one of the most important and effective ways to preserve the best health of an automobile.

Information source: Ford Motor Company, SiriusXM Radio, OnStar, US Department of Energy
Photo source: Chris Nagy

About The Author

Admiring automobiles ever since childhood viewership of the TV show Knight Rider, Chris Nagy grew as an enthusiast enroute to become an automotive and motorsport writer. Drawn to the rich world of motoring, Chris discovers charm everywhere in the industry from supercars like the Bugatti Veyron to a Kia Soul. Car design, engineering, performance and the passion itself fuels his daily existence.

2 Comments on "How to Save Money Driving in 2012"

  1. Dan Tole

    Keeping up with regular maintenance is extremely important. It will end up costing less in the long run because you will be able to use the same car for a much longer time period.

  2. Orange County Nissan

    Good tips; another one is to use a free gps app on your phone if you don’t have GPS. Google maps works on my Blackberry. Also cleaning out your trunk helps; empty out everything you don’t need. A lighter car will use less gas.

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