Saving on Automotive Costs
Man putting air in tire

Keep your tires pumped up, and you'll save money on fuel costs over time.


New cars tend to decrease in value by 25 to 40 percent in the first two years [source: Fuller]. Buying a car that's a year or two old means somebody else paid that 40 percent when they turned it in, or sold it to you, without a substantial drop in quality. That change in price will also be reflected in your warranty and insurance prices -- another thing the previous owner paid on your behalf.

As we all know, the best way to save on month-to-month car expenses is by watching your mileage. But it doesn't have to be a statistical nightmare. Just think about the basics: If you drive 80,000 miles (129,000 kilometers) over an average of five years, you could be buying 2,000 fewer gallons (7,600 liters) of gas simply by choosing a 25 mpg (11 km/L) car over a 15 mpg (6 km/L) model [source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency]. That's a lot of gas saved!

Did you know that just changing your air filter could raise your mileage by as much as 7 percent [source: Roth]? Or that for every 2 pounds per square inch (psi) -- 14 kilopascals -- that your tires are running low, your mileage goes down by 1 percent? Most cars are 5 to 10 psi (35 to 70 kilopascals) under their manufacturer's requirement, and just airing them up, at negligible cost, means an improvement of around 5 percent [source: Parkhurst and Zatz].

All these little things add up to save you money -- plus, keeping your car in top condition means many more years until you'll need to buy a new one!