car key, money and calculatorOwning a vehicle isn’t always cheap, but for many people, car ownership is an absolute necessity. The reasons are obvious when public transportation is not viable – you need a vehicle to go back and forth from work, to get groceries, to take the kids to school…the reasons are practically endless. And when you factor in the overall costs associated with car ownership, it can really hit your wallet hard. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can save money on your transportation needs! With that said, check out five simple ways you can save on car ownership.

1. Refinance Your Auto Loan

Whether your vehicle is brand new or many years old, you might have an auto loan with an unfavorably high interest rate. Those high interest rates can tack on a significant amount of money each month and when you take a look at the entire life of the auto loan, it could cost you thousands of extra dollars. Instead, start shopping around to refinance your current auto loan for a lower interest rate. Many lenders offer auto refinance loans that can get you out of your current loan for a possibly lower rate. To improve your odds of getting a better rate, just make sure your credit score is relatively good.

2. Switch Car Insurance Companies

On top of your car payment, you probably pay car insurance and it can contribute to a good portion of your car ownership costs. With that said, consider switching your car insurance carrier to another company because you’ll have the potential to save. Most companies offer no-obligation, free quotes, so you literally have nothing to lose besides a few bucks on your car insurance premium. Additionally, check out your current policy and see if there is room to adjust certain coverage thresholds because it may save some money.

3. Buy Used Auto Parts

As your car ages, it may need to be repaired in order to keep it road worthy. However, taking your car to the dealership can cost a fortune! Instead, buy recycled auto parts online to immediately save money up front. You can use a recycled auto parts locator tool to find the specific part for your make and model. On top of that, you can search for repair videos online for DIY fixes but be sure you are confident in your own skills before taking on the repair.

4. Maximize Fuel Your Economy

Even though gas prices have significantly dropped over the past couple of months, it’s still a recurring cost that you are paying for. With that in mind, change your driving habits to maximize your vehicle’s fuel economy. While it may require you to drive a little slower and easier, it’ll save you money in the long run. Also, be sure that your tires are properly inflated because they can affect gas mileage too. And one last point, shop around at gas stations for the best prices because you can find even more savings.

5. Car Pool

Whether you are driving to work or school, consider carpooling with classmates or coworkers. You can alternate the days you drive and the days someone else drives, which can save money. Not only will you be using less gas, but you will reduce the amount of wear and tear on your own vehicle. If you will be the sole person driving, you can always ask the person who is riding with you for a few bucks to offset the costs.

Try the above tips so you can drive straight to savings on car ownership!