There are numerous expenses well beyond the cost of your new or used car, that are associated with owning or leasing a vehicle. These unavoidable expenses are frustrating, but they don’t need to overwhelm you. Fortunately, there are many apps out there to help alleviate the burden of these costs.
6 Apps to Help Save Money on Vehicle Expenses
Filling up at a Favorable Rate – Gasbuddy
We’ve mentioned GasBuddy before, and it bears repeating. This is a great app to quickly identify the cheapest fuel near you. Gas prices are a hugely variable expense, but you may as well take advantage of the savings you can get by using a gas station outside of your regular route.
Speaking of route, if you’re heading on a road trip, GasBuddy has a “trip-cost calculator” that can help you budget your fuel costs. It can be helpful in determining if an alternate method is better suited to your budget.
Who else approves of Gasbuddy: The Travel Channel
Getting the Best Price for Your New Car or Truck: Carjojo
If you could use some extra ammo in your new-car-negotiating arsenal, check out Carjojo. The free service uses “big data” to share super useful information that will aid your new-car purchase.
Within a minute, you’ll can get this kind of data via the Carjojo “deal sheet”:
- How long your vehicle has been sitting on the lot.
- You can imagine a dealer will be far more motivated to sell a car that’s been in its inventory for more than 75 days, after when they’ll often have to begin financing that vehicle.
- How many similar/identical vehicles are available nearby.
- Check out which dealers are selling the same car.
- How the dealer’s business has been doing for the last few months.
- Find out if successful months will allow some wiggle room, or if they’re desperate for every sale.
Getting all that (and more info) is free. If you want the Carjojo “fixers” to negotiate on your behalf, that’ll cost you $199, but only if they secure the price they’d issued. Best of all, their prices beat the competitions’ prices every time, often by more than $1,000.
Who else approves of Carjojo: Lifehacker
Ensuring Your Car Repair or Maintenance Costs are Fair: Openbay
If you need new brakes, and aren’t sure if your go-to garage is giving you a fair shake, check out Openbay. The online marketplace for auto repair blasts your requests to local garages, that in turn submit repair and maintenance quotes in real-time. Openbay’s shops quote prices for your service that include every possible line-item you’d need to know, from labor and parts, to disposal fees and taxes.
Nothing is more reassuring than knowing what 4-5 local garages charge, seeing each businesses’ ratings and reviews, and having Openbay’s peace-of-mind guarantee on your side. Plus the service is free to you, so you can’t go wrong. Oh, and it tracks your full repair history, so you can clean out your glovebox, too.
Who else approves of Openbay: Mashable
Get the Best Parking-Garage Rates: SpotHero
When meters are hard to come by, and you’re out of your element, sometimes a garage is the only option. Wouldn’t you love to know which garages are closest to your destination, and how much each one charges, depending upon the time and day of your visit?
SpotHero does all this, and you can even reserve your parking spot in advance, ensuring you won’t be late for your important meeting. Best of all, SpotHero claims that its rates are up to 2-3x lower than the rate if you were just driving up to the garage without technology as your ally.
Who else approves of SpotHero: Forbes
Valuing a Used Car: Kelley Blue Book
Sure, Kelley Blue Book is an institution, but its website, www.KBB.com is the best place to go for determining the value of a used vehicle, whether it’s your own vehicle that you intend to sell, or you’re buying a used car or truck. We’ve frequently used KBB.com, and have been able negotiate a more favorable purchase price virtually every time.
KBB takes a bunch of factors into account when valuing a used vehicle. They factor in mileage, optional equipment, condition, and whether you intend to sell it via private party (e.g. you’re selling the car yourself) or via a dealer.
We really like how quickly KBB’s form can be filled out. Once it shares the estimated price range, it allows users to toggle back and forth, if you’re curious about the difference in the cost for the dealer selling it, or if you realize it’s not in “perfect” condition, much as you wish it were. With KBB, neither buyer nor seller can dispute what a vehicle’s worth.
Who else approves of KBB? App Advice
Getting the Best Price for Auto Insurance: Insurify
Sure, you know you’re paying, but how can you get the best deal on auto insurance when you don’t have hours to comparison shop? Filling out forms and speaking with multiple agents just takes too much time.
Insurify is a new marketplace for auto insurance that works with dozens of insurance companies – far more than any competitor – and it delivers real quotes (not just estimates) from those companies, based on your driver profile. Users often save $400 off previous plans! Lowering any monthly bill is a huge bonus for those sticking to a budget.
Once you lock in your new rate, you’ll close the deal directly with one of their 800 agents, who will already have your information on file, so you don’t have to waste time filling out more than a single form. Relief!
Who else approves of Insurify: New York Daily News
Bonus Advice (not an app!)
Now you know how to save money on your car – whether that’s at the gas station, repairing and maintaining it, insuring it, parking it, or in the initial purchase.
We have one more piece of advice – wash it often, especially for those in colder climes who contend with salty streets. It’s an inexpensive way to ensure you’re regularly avoiding rust and corrosive dirt.