Fuel prices hit an all-time high earlier this year, putting a strain on many Canadian drivers’ wallets. Pay a lot for your auto insurance? That can hurt, too. However, it’s possible to ease your pain and save on your two least favourite car expenses with these nine handy tips.
Save money at the pumps
1. Slow down
The posted limit is 100 kilometres per hour on most major Canadian highways. If you have a lead foot and like to increase your cruising speed from 100 to 120 km/h, you also increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption by about 20%. Do you really want to buy 20% more gas?
2. Relax and enjoy the drive
Drivers with aggressive driving tendencies (like speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking) use more fuel. It’s estimated that aggressive driving lowers your gas mileage by roughly 15-30% at highway speeds and 10-40% in stop-and-go traffic.
3. Not driving? Turn off the car
Unless you’re on the move, turn off your vehicle to minimize how much fuel you’ll use. When parked and idling for just 10 minutes, the average vehicle wastes almost a third of a litre of fuel, making that trip to the drive-up window costly.
4. Keep your car maintained and running smoothly
Your car was designed with certain minimum requirements for optimal operation, and when these minimums are not met, your fuel efficiency suffers. Consider:
- Your tires. Keeping your tires inflated properly helps your car run efficiently and can save you up to two weeks’ worth of gas each year.
- Your motor oil. Improve your gas mileage by 1-2% using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil — use anything else, and you’re not getting all you can from your car.
Save money on your auto insurance
While saving money at the pumps is something you can do every week, the following tips will ensure you have the tools needed to maximize your auto insurance savings, too.
1. Select a higher insurance deductible
Policyholders could save about 5% by raising their deductibles from $500 to $1,000. But keep it affordable because this is how much you’ll have to cover should you need to submit a claim.
2. Don’t pay for optional coverage if you do not need it
Review your policy to see if you have optional coverages or features that you may not need. For example, if you drive an older car, you may no longer want collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or both.
3. Take advantage of auto insurance discounts
Everyone loves a good discount, and it’s a great way to lower what you pay for your auto insurance coverage. But are you getting all the auto insurance discounts available? Ask your provider for a list of auto insurance discounts as there may be opportunities to save money you didn’t know existed or that your provider didn’t know to offer you.
4. Drive safely
Okay, this one is obvious but true. Your driving record is one of the key factors in determining your premium, and tickets and at-fault collisions can affect your insurance rate for years. With a less-than-perfect driving record, you can find yourself paying more for auto insurance.
5. Shop around
Rates vary wildly between insurance providers; therefore, shopping around is the only way to know you are getting your car insurance coverage at the best available rate.
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