Consumer Reports: Lowering your car costs

 

Maintaining your vehicle and keeping it on the road can be downright expensive. But according to Consumer Reports, there are some things you can do to keep your auto costs down.

For starters, break up with your insurer. Many consumers think staying loyal to their insurance company will save them money. But that's just not true, so shop around at least every three years.

Speaking of insurance, consider raising your collision and comprehensive deductible: You could save as much as $500 annually.

Ditch the in-car navigation system. That could save hundreds maybe even thousands the next time you purchase a vehicle. Besides, you most likely already have a navigation system on your cell phone.

Negotiate tire prices when it comes time to buy. You can do that by comparison shopping at different tire shops and not settling for the sticker price. Consumer Reports says more than half of consumers who haggled or asked for a lower price actually got it.

And finally, oil changes are good for your engine but you don't have to do them as frequently as you think. The old rule of thumb was paying for an oil change every 3,000 miles. But these days, the experts say every 5,000 miles is perfectly fine.

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