Any vehicle is a significant purchase, but it doesn’t stop there. If you lease or finance a new car, there are regular payments you need to make. But, even if you own the car outright, you still have to pay for gas, car insurance, and maintenance.
Mitigating the rising costs of gas is easier if you’re the proud owner of a hybrid or electric vehicle. However, regardless of the type of car, there are ways to reduce the added costs. Let’s look at how regular service can save you money at the mechanic and on your car insurance.
The age of your car
According to Statista, the average age of a car in Canada is 9.6 years old. Routine maintenance will keep your car running smoothly for a long time. You can avoid costly repairs if your licensed mechanic has the opportunity to notify you of a problem ahead of time, even during regular maintenance like oil changes.
If the car is still in good shape, you’ll want to hold on to it, but you can make changes to your car insurance policy as its value starts to diminish. For instance, you can consider removing insurance add-ons or endorsements like collision insurance, which protects your car if it’s in a driving-related accident. You can also add comprehensive insurance, which protects your car while it’s parked from things like falling trees and hail.
A car’s value decreases over time and depending on your policy, it’ll reflect this decrease. There’s no sense paying for collision and comprehensive if the value of your car is close to the deductible. The deductible is the part you pay before the insurance company pays the rest.
A long-lasting car can save you money on car insurance. If you have a clean driving history it can save you up to 20%. If you’re happy with your insurer, you could save another 10% in loyalty discounts.
Many people neglect to rotate their tires, leading to increased wear and the need for new tires earlier than expected. But not only for the tires, it’s also critical to your car running well. If there are drastic differences in tire sizes from wear, it can create issues with your drive system components and even possible problems with your brakes.
Well-maintained tires mean you can handle your turns better, brake on time, which means you’re less likely to get into an accident. If you’re in an accident, you may want to submit a claim to your car insurance company. But, if the accident was your fault due to improperly inflated or worn-out tires, expect to see your insurance premiums rise.
Bonus tip: If you’re looking at Ontario car insurance quotes, make sure to notify your broker of your winter tires, and you could save 3-5% on your insurance. Don’t lie about not having them. Misrepresentation of facts to your auto insurer may cause them to deny a claim, or worse.
If you find your stepping on the brake pedal harder and the car takes a little longer to stop, you probably need a brake fluid top-up, or you could have a leak. You should bring your car in as soon as possible. If the brakes make a grinding noise, it’s a sign your brake pads are likely worn out. Routine maintenance on your braking system can save you money. A small leak can become a big one, and regular brake pad changes can help your rotors last longer.
On the insurance side, you could find yourself in an at-fault minor fender bender if you didn’t brake in time, and you hit another car. While you may be able to avoid the car insurance claim and payout of pocket, that’s still a waste of money. If your brakes aren’t working well, you could also be caught running a red light or speeding. While a single ticket may not affect your insurance, it’s still up to your provider. If you’re caught running a red light or a stop sign, where the police pull you over, that’s a minor conviction and will result in an increase.
If you’re having trouble steering and you don’t feel safe, your power-steering belt could be damaged and lead to its failure. Head straight into the mechanic, and hopefully, it’s not a significant issue that could have been spotted earlier on.
Of course, if you can’t steer, you could hit another car, a store window, or even worse, a person on the road. The minimum third-party liability insurance – which covers you in instances like these is $200,000. However, most Canadians will choose $1 or $2 million in coverage. While $200,000 in liability will result in cheaper car insurance, if the claimant wants more than the minimum while they’re unable to work, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the remainder.
If you want to save money on car insurance, being a safe driver is always a good bet. In fact, if you remain accident free, you could often earn a discount of about 5%.
The bottom line
As you can see, regular maintenance can save you money on your car and on your insurance. Head into your local Master Mechanic for a check-up. If you feel you’re paying too much for car insurance, start shopping and comparing car insurance quotes online to ensure you’re getting the best value.
Author: Rate Hub