To save money on a car, be prepared to walk

How you get around can cost you or you can save big depending on how you do it. Trains, buses or the LRT are all great ways to get to your destination. Check with your employer to see if they offer any discounts. Companies often receive discounts or package rates that they then pass on to you.

How you get around can cost you or you can save big depending on how you do it.

Trains, buses or the LRT are all great ways to get to your destination. Check with your employer to see if they offer any discounts. Companies often receive discounts or package rates that they then pass on to you.

Buy a monthly or an annual pass especially if you ride frequently, it is cheaper than buying a ticket or pass every day.

Other methods to save are carpooling, biking or walking. Whenever you can try and combine all your errands into one trip.

When you rely on your own power or public transportation you think about the trips you take more. This ends up cutting down on the number of trips you make as you will not be running out to the store for just one thing or because you are bored.

If you are buying a new car, do your research. Check with your insurance company to see if the make and model of car you want is going to make your insurance rate skyrocket.

Know your price limit and be ready to bargain. Leave the kids at home and be prepared to leave the dealership. Do not buy a car when you visit a dealer the first time. This in the second largest purchase most people make the largest being purchasing a house. Take your time and think about it.

Better yet go shopping for a used car. New cars will lose 10 per cent to 20 per cent of their value the second they drive off the lot. If you have a mechanically minded friend, bring them along to check out the car. You can run a check on the VIN number to see if it has been involved in an accident or not.

When it comes to the car repair bills try and do the simple stuff yourself. Check sites like Angie’s List to find a good reliable mechanic. Finding someone who will answer questions like does it need to be fixed right this minute or can it wait? As well as what will happen if it is not fixed immediately? Finding a person who will answer those questions and any others you may have honestly is absolutely priceless.

You can save on cleaning your car. Washing it every week is not necessary. It does not have to be spotless and waxed to a mirror like finish day in and day out. You can just spot wash things like bird droppings and tree sap.

Save more by vacuuming out your car at home. It makes no sense to pay more to use the system at the car wash when almost everyone has a vacuum cleaner at home. Clean out the backseat and remove all items that are not needed to reduce the extra weight in the car.

Check your tire pressure and make sure your spare is ready to use while you are at it.

Sandra Nolan is a freelance writer from Rocky Mountain House. Her column appears every other week in LIFE. Contact her at slnolan@xplornet.com

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