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Save Cash On All Your Car Expenses With These 4 Tricks

Cut costs on insurance payments, repairs, and more.

It’s not your imagination: Your vehicle really is costing you a lot more to use — and it’s not just gas prices! The good news? You can cut car costs by more than $1,000 this year! Here are four ways to do it.

Pay less for gas

You may know that warehouse club gas stations have lower prices than competing stations. But they’re not the only ones: Kroger gives loyalty card holders 10 cents off per gallon of gas for every $100 you spend at the grocery store. And Giant Eagle offers Advantage Card holders who sign up for the free AdvantagePay program 5 to 30 cents off per gallon at GetGo stations.

Many gas stations also offer loyalty member discounts: Shell offers Fuel Reward members 5 cents off per gallon, which can be combined with rewards from shopping and dining out, boosting potential savings to 10 cents a gallon. And Speedway’s Speedy Rewards members earn points from gas and other purchases redeemable for 10 to 50 cents off per gallon.

Trim money off insurance

The price of auto insurance has risen by as much as 20 percent! Blame goes to more drivers on the road (upping the risk of accidents), supply-chain issues (making it difficult to get car parts following an accident), and a shortage of new and used cars (increasing your current car’s value). Fortunately, you can shrink your monthly bill by switching insurance companies. In a new survey, 92 percent of policy holders who shopped around found a cheaper price. In fact, one in four saved $200 or more on their annual policy! To compare rates, log on to Insurify or The Zebra.

Cut repair costs

Whether you’ve got a broken taillight or a leaking water pump, before heading to a repair shop, call your warranty company and ask if the fix is covered — even if the warranty has expired. Manufacturers automatically extend their warranty on certain parts that are found to be flawed, which means you could get the repair for free. No warranty? Search to see if the repair is covered due to a recall. Is your car fix covered by insurance?

With new parts harder to find nowadays, some insurance companies are paying more toward your repair when your auto technician opts for used parts, which they’ll ensure are safe. So let your auto shop know if you’re open to this option.

Save on replacements

Need new tires? Compare prices from local tire shops with those from an online seller, like Tire Buyer or Tire Rack. Then take them to a tire installer like Walmart that accepts third-party purchases and charges just $10 per tire for installation. (Find your car’s tire size on the inside panel of the passenger door.) Need new wiper blades? You can pay up to 45 percent less at Amazon, Target, and Walmart than at auto parts stores, then replace them yourself by following how-to’s on YouTube.

Battery running low? Stores like AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts test them for free. If yours is still under warranty and low on power, you could get it replaced with a new one at no cost!

Bonus tip!

Need to park your car in a lot? Download a free spot-locating app like BestParking or SpotHero to your smartphone, then type in your destination. You’ll get a map of the area with prices of nearby lots. Parking at a meter? Avoid expired meter tickets with a free app, like ParkMobile. Just enter your meter ID, and you’ll be notified when you need to add more time — which you can do straight from the app!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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