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Six ways to save money on car costs (while saving the planet and improving your health!)

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Remember a few years back when the money you spent on filling the tank would pay for a pretty nice evening out? That reality whipped us all into shape when it came to how and when we used our cars. But now that gas prices have been low-ish for quite a while, have you slipped back into old habits?

Guess what? You’re wasting hard-earned money you could be saving for something important or fun. Tell car-related costs to hit the road with these six easy tips.

Tip #1: Improve your car’s efficiency. There are many cheap, easy ways to get the job done. For instance, according to fueleconomy.gov, speeding and rapid acceleration can lower your gas mileage by 33%! Who knew?

Tip #2: Car pool. Yes, it is easier and more convenient to drive your own car whenever you need to get somewhere. But what if you arranged to share rides at least some of the time? You’d save gas and cut your transportation costs. Plus, you’ll get to know your co-workers or what’s really going on with your kids (the chauffeur is invisible—try it and see!). Don’t know anyone who shares your driving route? Check out the Wisconsin RIDESHARE program. 

Tip #3: Check out other modes of transportation.  Sure, not everyone can take advantage of the bus or biking/walking, but can you? Taking the bus eliminates parking costs and hassles; and walking or biking gives you great exercise and fresh air and cuts emissions (hey, you’re going green!).

Tip #4: Double up your driving. Find yourself running out for an errand and later making almost the same trip for something else? Challenge yourself to be more mindful about where you’re driving and when.

Tip #5: Investigate telecommuting. This won’t work for every job or company, but maybe it could work for you. Telecommuting even one day a week could make a dent in your car-related costs and maybe even benefit your company and your career (here are some thoughts from USA Today to help you evaluate whether it’s a fit).  

Tip #6: Be smart about your next car purchase. Today’s low gas prices might mean you don’t think as much about fuel efficiency as you used to. So, even if gas is cheap today, keep in mind that it probably won’t be the entire time you own your car. Ready to buy? Check out the Summit Auto Resource Center. We’ve got online tools and on-staff experts to help you at every stage of the research and buying process.

Rev up your transportation-related savings today with a little help from Summit!