In 2021, the costs of new and used cars increased due to computer chip shortages, low inventory and increased demand.
We also saw gas prices rise and rental car rates soar.
You’ve likely felt the financial pinch.
Still, we’ve also come away from this year learning how to better navigate these expenses. Here are our top stories from 2021 to help drivers save money on auto expenses.
- 1 9 Ways to Save Money on Auto Expenses
- 1.1 1. Learn to Buy a Car Without Haggling
- 1.2 2. Decide Whether Buying or Leasing Is Best for You
- 1.3 3. Negotiate the Best Deal on Your Car Lease
- 1.4 4. Know How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off
- 1.5 5. Determine How Much You Can Afford to Spend on a Car
- 1.6 6. Make a Budget for Maintenance and Repairs
- 1.7 7. Consider Alternatives to Pricey Rental Cars
- 1.8 8. Use These Tips to Save Money on Gas
- 1.9 9. Sign Up for One of These Fuel Rewards Programs
9 Ways to Save Money on Auto Expenses
Take these tips with you into the new year.
1. Learn to Buy a Car Without Haggling
For many people, the worst part of the car-buying experience is trying to haggle with the salesperson for a better price. Negotiating is an art not everyone has mastered.
However, there are other approaches you can take at the dealership that can still score you sweet savings. A former car sales manager explains how to buy a car without haggling in this article.
2. Decide Whether Buying or Leasing Is Best for You
Rising prices didn’t make car buying favorable to consumers in 2021. But when you need a new set of wheels, you need a new set of wheels.
When shopping for a new vehicle, you can choose to either buy or lease. This article explains the pros and cons of both options so you can make the best decision for your situation.
3. Negotiate the Best Deal on Your Car Lease
Just because you may only have your leased vehicle for a couple of years doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for the best deal you can get.
This article shares 11 tips on how to negotiate a car lease so you don’t walk off the car lot with regrets.
4. Know How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off
Used cars are less expensive than buying the latest model, but there’s always the worry that you’ll purchase a lemon.
If you’re interested in buying a used vehicle, heed these seven tips to make sure you’re getting a good car at the best price.
5. Determine How Much You Can Afford to Spend on a Car
Cars are a big expense. The last thing you want is to lock yourself into a monthly payment you can’t afford.
Before buying a new set of wheels, ask yourself these seven questions to determine how much car you can afford. Use the embedded car loan calculator to understand what your monthly costs will be.
6. Make a Budget for Maintenance and Repairs
Your monthly car payment may be your biggest auto-related expense, but it’s not the only thing you should be budgeting for. All vehicles require regular maintenance, and you also need to prepare for future repairs as your vehicle ages.
This article explains how much to budget for car maintenance and repairs so you’re not caught off-guard when these expenses pop up.
7. Consider Alternatives to Pricey Rental Cars
Enjoy your vacation without stressing out about all the extra costs. Instead of booking an expensive rental car when you’re away from home, there are other alternatives.
This post shares six ways to get around on vacation without needing to rent a car.
8. Use These Tips to Save Money on Gas
You can reduce the amount of money you spend on gas by being selective about where you fill up, how you pay and when you go to the gas station. How you drive and the condition of your car can even impact how much you spend on gas.
These 20 tips will help you save money when fueling up your vehicle.
9. Sign Up for One of These Fuel Rewards Programs
Joining a fuel rewards program is just one of the ways you can save money on gas. But with so many programs available, it can be difficult to know which one offers the best deal.
This article compares six gas rewards programs from popular chains and shares how each one works to save you money.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.