Owning a vehicle is serious business. Even after the large initial payment to put your name on the title, you also must insure, maintain, repair, and register the car. That’s a lot of moolah. To help you offset the growing costs of car ownership, here are 5 best-kept secrets and tips to keep your piggy bank plump and juicy.
5. Ask About Auto Insurance Discounts
You’ve often been told to shop around and get quotes from various car insurance companies. Great—that should help you save money. However, it’s not really a secret since everyone and their mother knows about it. But you can save a good chunk of change by asking your insurance agent about new discounts that may be available.
Car insurance companies don’t typically lump you into a new group to receive savings once you meet the requirements. Instead, you have to request it. For instance, if you are a new college student with a good GPA, you may qualify for a student discount. Haven’t been in an accident recently? Boom—discount. Sign up for electronic bills? You bet that’s another discount. Even if they add up to 10% off your auto insurance premium, that’s 10% less out of your bank account. Notify your agent of all the safety features in your vehicle, and they’ll re-quote you for insurance.
Review the following list of discounts for these popular auto insurance companies:
- Allstate Discounts
- Travelers Discounts
- Farmers Discounts
- GEICO Discounts
- State Farm Discounts
- Progressive Discounts
- Nationwide Discounts
- Safe Auto Discounts
- Auto-Owners Discounts
4. Eliminate Insurance Coverage
Own an older vehicle? You may not need your collision and comprehensive insurance coverage at all. Collision insurance will pay to fix up your car if it’s damaged in an accident. Comprehensive coverage will pay to replace your vehicle if it’s stolen, damaged by a fallen tree, or vandalized, etc. If your vehicle’s Blue Book Value is lower than that of your annual premium plus your deductible, drop both coverages.
Keep your liability coverage, however, and be sure to set aside some of the money you’re saving in case you do need to purchase a new vehicle.
3. Stick with Regular Unleaded
Most cars don’t require premium fuel. In fact, premium-grade fuel adds no benefit over regular unleaded gasoline. Unless you drive a high-performance car like the Toyota GR Supra, fill up with cheap gas. This should save you up to 20% on gas, or an average of $300, each year.
Tip 3b: Don’t “top off the tank” when you’re at the pump. This extra gas can expand in the heat and ultimately leak out while you’re clicking away on the keyboard at work. Worst of all, you won’t even know it. This can save you about $50 per year in wasted fuel.
2. Buy a Plug-In Hybrid Car
The initial cost to purchase an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid car is higher than your typical gas-powered vehicle, but ownership costs are much lower. Charging at home is cheaper than filling up each week. Maintenance is oftentimes less because these vehicles use fewer mechanical components. There’s no need to change the oil on EVs, and plug-in hybrids require fewer oil changes overall. Additionally, you can receive up to $7,500 in federal tax credits when you purchase a qualifying vehicle, like the Prius Prime.
1. Check for Utility Company Rebates & Incentives
If you do plan to purchase a plug-in hybrid vehicle, your electric company may offer discounts to help you offset that initial cost. For instance, local Illinois drivers who buy a Prius Prime from our St. Louis Toyota dealership may be eligible to receive rebates on charging stations, cheap off-peak electricity rates, and even PHEV financing assistance. The latter incentive is offered by the Illinois Electric Cooperative; customers in Morgan, Scott, Pike, Greene, and Calhoun Counties can potentially finance a Toyota Prius Prime at 0.5% for 60 months.
Certain states also provide PHEV owners with incentives, including exemptions for vehicle emissions tests, vehicle registration, and rebates. Check your state’s PHEV incentives and programs here.
Save $4,502 on a Toyota Prius Prime at Pappas
Did you know you can receive over $4,500 in tax credits when you purchase a new Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid? That just about pays for your down payment and first year of ownership. But this federal rebate won’t last forever. Once a total of 200,000 Prius Prime models are sold – as of September 2019, approximately 60,000 Prius Prime models have been sold – the credit will be phased out. So, act now.
Contact Pappas Toyota at (636) 928-1212 to schedule your Prius test drive or request more information about our Toyota finance offers and lease deals. We’re located at 10011 Spencer Rd., in St. Louis, MO.