April 15 has come and gone, which means millions of Americans have filed their tax returns and are anxiously waiting for their refunds to come through. For many, the prospect of getting money back is the only bright point in this otherwise chaotic period. But the effort that goes into filing taxes may be worthwhile for individuals across the country.
Yahoo Autos reported that the Internal Revenue Service will pay an average refund of $2,815 to each filer. That equates to about $217 billion, and it's only natural that some of these funds will be applied to the auto industry. Americans may use their windfalls to buy new cars or help pay back existing auto loans, but many should consider putting the money toward vehicle maintenance.
Not sure what you can use your tax refund for? Here are three car-related possibilities you should mull over.
1. Buy new tires
Tires aren't cheap. That's an unfortunate fact that often leaves many people driving on wheels that are no longer safe, whether due to poor inflation, low tread, balding or general wear and tear. Instead of ruining your car's fuel efficiency and putting your own personal safety at risk, invest in a new set of tires.
Maybe a professional inspects your ride and tells you that your current tires are in good shape. You can still use your tax refund to care for the wheels. Tire alignment and rotations are important to the overall health and longevity of the equipment, and getting these tasks completed could lead to smooth driving this summer.
2. Finally get that auto repair
People love to procrastinate, and unfortunately there are times when this bad habit extends to car care. Whether there are dents and scratches on the exterior from a past collision or you've been ignoring the check engine light for a while, now is the time to get the vehicle to a technician. Let the expert examine your car and complete any needed repairs. In the end, you'll be glad you have a clean bill of auto health and can drive through the summer without any worries.
3. Plan out a maintenance schedule
If your car doesn't need any significant upgrades, consider saving the money and allocating it toward scheduled maintenance. Regular oil changes and tune ups can extend the life of any vehicle. Being proactive about this work also saves you money in the long run by improving fuel efficiency and reducing the odds of major problems. You'll be spending money to save it in the future.