Automobile

Car Insurance: Liability or Comprehensive Coverage?

When you’re shopping for car insurance – something that’s a legal requirement in most areas when you own a car – one of the biggest questions that comes your way is whether or not you should have liability coverage or comprehensive coverage on your automobile. Liability coverage is usually cheaper, but comprehensive coverage covers more. …

Categories: Automobile, Insurance

Do Your Own Car Maintenance, Save Hundreds Per Year

Many people settle into a route of convenience when it comes to the maintenance on their automobile. They take their car to the dealer or to a car servicing business every 5,000 miles or so, generally following their manufacturer’s recommendation, and they just pay that business to take care of car maintenance for them. Here’s …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

The Teenager’s Car Conundrum

Sometimes, I get questions that are perfect for the Reader Mailbag, except that when I actually start writing out the answer, it turns into a full post. This is one of those times. Leslie writes in: My daughter is turning sixteen this August. We’re going to buy her a used car as a gift, but …

Comparing Costs Between New and Used Cars

The best way to maximize your value from a car, regardless of when you buy it, is to drive it until the problems become overwhelming, then trade it in for whatever value you can get out of it. I consider that the first rule of frugal car buying. The tough question is whether or not …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

What Is Fuel Efficiency Really Worth?

A few days ago, I posted an article on saving money on fuel during your commute. While all of those tips were useful, one in particular can really reduce your fuel costs when commuting – buying a more fuel-efficient car. But what does that really mean in terms of dollars and cents? Before you even …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

14 Ways to Save Money on Your Commuting Fuel Costs Without Giving Up Your Car

Whenever I see advice on saving money on commuting fuel costs, the suggestions often revolve around completely giving up your car. I’m as guilty of that as anyone else. It’s a great way to drastically trim your finances. Let’s be honest, though: a lot of people simply aren’t going to give up their car. They …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

Car Insurance: Value Beyond Merely “Insuring” You

There’s already a ton of great information from Jeff in The Simple Dollar’s guide about shopping around for auto insurance – how to choose it and how to optimize it. Rather than just rehashing my own experiences with auto insurance, I wanted to look at it from a different angle. Obviously, my choices helped define …

Categories: Automobile, Insurance

Six Reasons Why I Don’t Want a Luxury Car – Ever

A while back, I read a “wonderful” article over at Forbes entitled “Ten Reasons to Buy a Luxury Car.” Such important factors as “prestige” and “horses under the hood” were bandied about. Personally, I didn’t really find any of the reasons to be compelling ones for buying a luxury car. Instead, here are six reasons …

Categories: Automobile

Is Renting a Car Cheaper for a Long Road Trip?

Monica wrote in with a question that I thought deserved a detailed answer. I’m going to be driving from northern Minnesota to Dallas, Texas for a week this summer, then returning home. I own a 2008 Toyota Corolla with 34,000 miles on it. I’m trying to figure out if it’s more cost effective to rent …

Some Thoughts on Higher Gas Prices

I’m lucky. I don’t commute to work, unless you consider a stroll across the house to be a commute. I don’t put daily miles on a vehicle, though I do need to travel to the library and the post office for different work-related tasks. My wife, Sarah, does commute to work, though. She drives about …

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Going Below Speed Limit

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Car Finance: The Math on Why You Should Pay Cash for Your Next Car

Quite often, I get emails from readers asking about car finance. What is the “best” way to purchase a particular car that they want? They have their eye on some new model and want me to essentially tell them that it’s okay to purchase it. When Is It Ok To Finance A Car? I rarely …

Minimizing the Cost of Holiday Car Travel

Like a lot of people this week, our family is traveling by car to a number of Thanksgiving dinners. As I taught the children to sing recently, “On the interstate and across the bridge, to Grandma’s house we go!” Of course, when you’re traveling during the holiday season, you’re opening the door to some potential …

Is It Really Cheaper to Ride the Bus?

Aaron writes in: I love your cost breakdowns when you calculate the real truth behind some financial choice. I’ve got one for you. Is it really cheaper to ride public transportation to work? I have a bus stop about a block from my house. For about $2 each way, I can use public transportation to …

Our New Car

Meet our new automobile, a 2004 Honda Pilot, which we purchased as a replacement for our ailing, rusty 1997 Ford F-150 pickup: We purchased it a few weeks ago, paying cash, while simultaneously selling off our truck. Perhaps most interestingly of all, we found the vehicle on Craigslist, bought it locally, and got a very …

Categories: Automobile

Optimizing the Value of Your Commute

Kelly writes in: For the first time in my life, I have a daily commute to work. I drive about 45 minutes each way to work each day of the week. According to my math, I’m going to be spending about $125 a month just on gas, let alone maintenance, upkeep, and so on. When …

Categories: Automobile

Starting a Carpool

Jenny writes in: I work at an office park about forty five minutes from where I live. I live in a highly populated suburban neighborhood. In order to save some money on gas and wear and tear on my car, I want to start a carpool, but I don’t know anyone who lives near me …

Categories: Automobile

Trimming the Average Budget: Gasoline and Motor Oil

Transportation – gasoline, motor oil – $2,384/year The average American family drops $200 a month on gasoline and motor oil – and that’s at early 2009 prices for gas, which were significantly lower than prices today. However, this is one of the easiest numbers to trim in your entire budget. There are several simple steps …

Trimming the Average Budget: Other Transportation Expenses

Transportation – other expenses and transportation – $3,130/year This unlclearly-defined category includes vehicle finance charges, maintenance and repairs, vehicle insurance, public transportation, vehicle rental, licenses, and so on. In other words, besides buying a car and putting fuel in it, every automobile expense goes into this category. With such a varied caetgory that speaks to …

Categories: Automobile