Stop Leaving Money On Your Driveway! Cutting The Cost of a Stationary Car
The COVID-19 outbreak has likely wrought some huge changes to how you, your partner and your family live your lives. You may have less money coming into the house because one or both of you have been rendered unemployed. It’s possible that you are still able to work from home, but have had to take a paycut. Or perhaps you’re on furlough or sick leave. Whatever your circumstances, it’s safe to say that you probably can’t afford to throw money away on anything your household doesn’t need. And if you’re a two-car household that’s working from home, that probably includes at least one of your cars.
Still, a car that’s sitting unused on the driveway can stil, keep leaching money, even though it’s not going anywhere. Here are some ways in which you can cut the cost of maintaining that unused vehicle and stop leaving that money out on your driveway…
Not using your car at all? Declare your vehicle off-road
You may still want to use your vehicle every now and then to take the kids to the nearest park for your daily dose of exercise or to pick up some groceries. If you’re not using it at all, however, you can save yourself the cost of taxing or insuring it. Visit your local DMV website and fill out an Affidavit of Non Use (ANU). Please note that this can only be applied if the car is parked in your garage or on your driveway and is not parked on any state maintained road.
Rethink your insurance
If you foresee your vehicle being off-road for the foreseeable future, don’t waste another penny insuring it. You don’t need insurance if there’s a 0% chance of getting into a car crash.
Insurance companies are being particularly lenient with their customers in light of the current pandemic and subsequent lockdown. As such, your insurer will probably be amenable to suspending or changing your coverage to better suit your current needs or budget. Nerdwallet has some great advice on this. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to stick with a dud policy. You can change your policy at any time. While this may incur a fee, your new provider may be willing to pay this on your behalf. You might find a new provider who’s better matched to your change in circumstances. For instance, if you still intend to use your vehicle but only use it sparingly, you may be better off switching to pay-per-mile insurance. At the very least, take the time to weigh up your options.
Gas up now!
With crude oil prices plummeting, gas is at the cheapest rate it’s been in 12 years. As such, even if your car’s off the road, you should fill up now while you can. Not only is this a saving to take advantage of, it can also save you a serious repair bill in future. Y’see, when a gas tank is left half full condensation develops as the temperature fluctuates between night and day. Over time this condensation can create droplets of water which get mixed in with the fuel in your tank. These droplets can actually do potential damage to your furl injectors later. So make sure you gas up before you take your vehicle off the road.
You might want to fill up on your oil, too
You should change your oil and filters regularly to ensure that your car is properly lubricated. However, when your car spends a lot of time stationary, the oil will drain down to the sump and your oil levels may drop significantly as a result. To save greater wear on your car’s components when you’re back up and running, keep checking and topping up your oil while your car is off the road.
Check your tires
Today’s slow puncture could lead to significant cost and logistical complexity which you definitely don’t need tomorrow. So be sure to check your tires before your vehicle goes off the road.
Get proactive! Protect your paint job
Again, the action you take today will save you the cost of a repair job tomorrow. Stains on your paintwork left over weeks or months can create damage to the paint job, especially stains like bird droppings which are acidic in nature and can erode the outer layer. Wash your car thoroughly and give it a good waxing to keep the paint in tip top shape. Then cover it with a tarp or, if possible, keep your car in a garage.
Stay proactive and you can significantly cut the cost of your stationary car.