If you are a student who is looking for ways to save money, you might take advantage of student discounts, order the cheapest items possible when you go out to eat and limit yourself to free entertainment.
Have you ever considered how much you could potentially save on your driving expenses? Take a few minutes to check out these 15 tips that could save you a lot of money.
1. Maintain Good Grades And Attend School Fulltime
Many insurance companies offer discounts to students who receive good grades and also to those who go to school full time. In order to take advantage of this, maintain a GPA of B or higher, and be sure you take enough classes to be categorized as a full time student.
2. If Possible, Stay on Your Parent’s’ Insurance Plan
If you meet the requirements to stay on your parent’s insurance plan, and they agree to it, do so. Assuming that they have a good track record of maintaining insurance, you will pay less piggybacking on to their policy than you will going it alone.
3. Keep Your Vehicle Maintained
Take care of your car by keeping the oil changed at regular intervals. You’ll also want to keep your tires inflated properly, and have them rotated and replaced on a regular basis.
Finally, don’t ignore a check engine light. It’s usually a little thing, but can turn into something big if you do not take action. Well maintained cars are more fuel efficient, and they last longer. Be sure to keep your maintenance records. You’ll get more money if you trade your car in or sell it.
4. Drive The Speed Limit
Speeding may get you to where you want to be faster, but it comes at a cost. First of all, you risk getting a ticket or getting into an accident.
In addition to that, speeding burns up more gas than driving at a reasonable rate of speed. There’s an old saying, “everybody in favor of saving money on gas, raise your right foot.”
5. Purchase A Fuel Efficient Car
A few years ago, the upfront cost of purchasing a hybrid or an electric car was prohibitive for the average student. Now, these cars have been around long enough that you may be able to find them in your price range at used car lots or for sale from private owners.
If you cannot find a hybrid or electric vehicle, try to find a car that has the best MPG (miles per gallon) ratings you can get.
6. Ask To Take Defensive Driving In The Event Of A Ticket
If you do get a traffic ticket, you not only pay an expensive fine, you risk your insurance rates going up. Fortunately, you may have the option of taking a defensive driving course instead of receiving points on your license. You will pay for the class, but it might be worth it to prevent higher premiums.
7. Walk, Ride Or Use Public Transportation
Depending on where you live, work, and go to school, you may have options besides driving every day. If you do, look into those. Every day that you spend without getting into a car saves you money on gas, maintenance, vehicle depreciation.
Try to find some other students who are willing to carpool. This way you can split gas expenses with others. It creates a win-win situation where everybody saves money.
9. Stop Letting Your Car Idle
If you are going to be stopped for more than two minutes, turn off your engine. You should also stop warming your car up in the morning. It’s not necessary, it pollutes the air, and it wastes gas. Instead, just drive slowly for the first few minutes.
10. Use Your Cruise Control
Your cruise control is an expertly engineered piece of technology that you can use to maintain a steady rate of speed while you drive in order to optimize fuel efficiency. Your foot and ankle are not. If you are driving on the freeway, use your cruise control and you might be pleasantly surprised.
11. Use Driving Apps
There are a plethora of free apps for students. In fact, you probably have several of them on your smartphone right now. What you may not have on your phone are apps that can help you to save money on gas and other driving related expenses.
Try using an app like GasBuddy to find the best rates on fuel, then when you use an app or website for directions, pick the travel option that saves you the most on gas.
12. Join A Rewards Program
If your regular gas station offers a rewards program, check it out. Many people use these to save money on in store items such as coffee, but in many cases you may receive a few cents off of each gallon of gas that you purchase.
13. If You Drive An Older Vehicle, Cut Back On Your Insurance
What would you do if your vehicle were in an accident tomorrow? Would you want to get it fixed and drive it for a few more years, or would you probably just replace it?
If you have full coverage and you totalled your car tomorrow, how would an insurance appraiser value your vehicle? If you have an older vehicle that isn’t very valuable, you might want to cut back to your state required minimums.
14. Read Your Owner’s Manual
Cars need more attention than oil changes and tire rotations. Your owner’s manual will let you know which types of service you need to have done throughout the time that you own your vehicle. Take care of this, and you will prevent yourself from having to lay money out on major drive train repairs.
15. Ask For Help At The Auto Parts Store
Did you know that the employees at your local auto parts store will happily help you with minor repairs such as replacing bulbs and fuses, installing a new battery and adding fluids? They often provide free diagnostics as well so that you can determine what is going on if one of the trouble indicators on your dashboard lights up. Best of all, they do these things for free.