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How to cut car costs this summer

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Summer is a great time to find ways to reduce car costs in every area you can. One place to start is by saving on car repair and maintenance costs with the right kind of vehicle service contract (often referred to as an extended car warranty). 

Here are some basic tips to help you reduce your car costs for the rest of the year.

Change your car insurance

You may have gotten the best rate when you first signed up for your car insurance, but insurance formulas change all the time. The cheapest option from a couple years back might not be the cheapest now! Switching your car insurance can potentially save you a lot of money on premiums. Keep in mind there are new discounts propping up all the time that may be available to you as well.

If your credit score has improved since you signed up for your current car insurance, that will also help you find a better rate than what you had.

Note: You’re generally entitled to a refund of the premium you haven’t used if you cancel your car insurance policy mid-term.

Improve your fuel efficiency

The New York Times reported last week about the rising oil and gas prices and how it’s making it challenging for the U.S. economy to recover. Improving your car’s fuel efficiency makes more sense than ever. Here are a few steps to take to burn less fuel:

  1. Remove weight from the trunk and extra carrying kits (like roof boxes or bike racks).
  2. Keep your tires at the recommended tire pressure.
  3. Avoid driving during busy times and plan out your outings so you’re maximizing your every trip.
  4. Accelerate and brake cautiously and gently.
  5. Don’t go above the speed limit.
  6. Ease the accelerator as much as possible by reading the road and maintaining momentum.

For these and more tips, read our recent blog on tips for improving your gas mileage.

Refinance your car loan

When you refinance your car loan, you seek to replace your existing car loan with a new one so you can make smaller monthly payments. This typically happens with a brand new lender. The new lender will pay off your existing loan and you’ll begin to pay the new one at a lower interest rate.

This is specially recommended if your credit score has improved since you applied for your current car loan. With a better credit score, you can qualify for a lower interest rate.

There aren’t too many drawbacks when you refinance other than that it takes a significant amount of time to research the right options. Your credit score could be slightly affected afterwards as well. Here are three things to consider to help you make your decision:

  • Refinancing typically doesn’t have any application fees.
  • Most car loans don’t have a penalty if you pay them in full with funds from a new loan.
  • The funds from the new loan can be made available very quickly.

Cancel your bad extended car warranty

Did you get pressured into buying a bad extended car warranty for a new or used car? Bad extended car warranty plans are those that provide very little coverage and don’t actually have your back when something goes wrong. Most extended car warranties have huge markups as well and cost more than what you get in benefits.

If you were sold a bad extended car warranty, you can ask for a refund and get your money back. You may experience push back but be firm. Find the paperwork for your policy and see the steps you need to take to cancel. You may need to complete a cancellation form.

Read here for more information on how to get a refund for a VSC or extended car warranty.

Save on car repairs and maintenance 

With the right kind of vehicle breakdown coverage, you can save a ton of money on car repairs and maintenance. Having comprehensive coverage over all major components of your car means that car repairs that could cost you $1,000s out of pocket are covered. With Vehicle Repair Protection, all you pay is a low-cost monthly subscription that includes premium perks like savings on car maintenance through Car Cash. has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!