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Tips to Make Owning a Car More Affordable

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Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Sep 30, 2013.

(StatePoint) From gas, parking permits and insurance premiums, to maintenance and repairs, owning a car can be an expensive prospect. But motorists can pave the way to lower costs by following a few clever rules of the road:

Reduce Your Rate

Shop around for auto insurance, as prices can vary widely between companies. For a cheaper rate, avoid purchasing a sporty or expensive vehicle. Insurance companies are more likely to give low rates to drivers of reliable cars that have safety features.

Inquire into any discounts associated with a clean driving record. And if you don’t log too many miles per week, you may also be eligible for a low-mileage discount.

Make Smart Repairs

The next time your vehicle needs a part replaced after a fender bender, opt for alternative collision repair parts, which are anywhere from 26 to 50 percent less expensive than parts issued by car companies. Such parts also often have warranties that exceed those offered by the car companies.

On average, competition in the collision parts industry saves consumers approximately $1.5 billion a year. Car companies, however, are trying to prevent drivers from utilizing these less expensive parts by enforcing design patents on things like bumpers, hoods and mirrors, say experts.

Supporting consumer-friendly legislation, such as the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act, would mean more consumer choices and access to affordable repair parts in the future. More information about the PARTS Act can be found at www.KeepAutoPartsAffordable.org.

Fuel Up Efficiently

Regular maintenance to your vehicle will help it run more smoothly and efficiently. So take care of your car.

Pay attention to your route. With the right apps, you can make bumper-to-bumper traffic a thing of the past. Sophisticated GPS-based technologies can steer you clear of the road blocks and jam-ups that leave you idling and wasting fuel.

For short trips, consider using your own two feet. It’s great exercise and will save you a few pennies in the process.

Make trips to the gas station worth your while by filling the tank completely. After all, you are using gas every time you idle waiting for a pump.

For most people, owning a car is not a luxury, but a necessity. While some expenses associated with driving are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to make it a more affordable mode of transportation.

Photo Credit: (c) AntonioDiaz - Fotolia.com

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