Drivers have been lucky as of late. There are so many opportunities for savings, whether it's related to the initial cost of a car or fuel, and that provides motorists with countless ways to customize their ownership.
For anyone who wants to be a smart owner, the key is to stay informed. Knowing what's going on in the economy or auto industry is a start, but these savvy motorists also need to be aware of what their vehicle needs to perform at a high level. From fuel to auto repair, everything is connected, so motorists should start looking for information to help them save.
The current state of gas prices
The latest AAA report detailed the latest trends relating to gas. According to the data, the national average for a gallon of gas has increased for 28 straight days. In that time, it's risen 27 cents, bringing the total to $2.30 per gallon. While news of any jump in prices may be bad news for drivers, the average cost is still much lower than at this time in recent years. AAA noted that the current mark is about $1.11 cheaper than in 2014.
Even as these gas prices are increasing, people are still buying cars. Edmunds.com found that February posted impressive sales figures. Early estimates have more than 1.2 million cars sold in the month, which would represent an 11.8 percent jump over January and almost an 8 percent increase from the same month last year. Should these trends hold, more than 16.6 million new vehicles could enter the roads throughout 2015.
Focusing on the future
Regardless of whether your car is new or used, you're likely looking at ways to slow down depreciation and save money. One of the easiest ways to do this is to be proactive in your care of a vehicle. Certain scheduled maintenance tasks can ensure all systems are operating as they should, and that positively affects fuel efficiency. Even though prices are a bit lower compared to the past few years, drivers should still be searching for ways to save in the long term, especially as costs begin to climb.
"Gas prices are lower than they have been for nearly six years and that means big savings for motorists," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Add to that a proactive auto care plan and you will not only save more now, but as gas prices start to rise again, you'll save later. All because you invested in your vehicle to make sure it runs efficiently."
The tasks to invest in
So what are a few vehicle maintenance procedures that can save you money in the long run? The Car Care Council suggested focusing on engine performance. If this system is running smoothly, it can improve gas mileage by as much as 4 percent, so something like fuel injection cleaning can certainly prove beneficial.
The engine contains many other aspects that need to be cared for. Check the owner's manual to determine which type of motor oil you should be using. Sticking to the right brand may be enough to boost fuel efficiency by up to 2 percent, according to the Car Care Council. While you're at it, clean or replace clogged air filters, examine belts and gas caps, and scope out any other issues that may be happening under the hood. Workers at an auto repair franchise can address these problems in a timely manner, ensuring that you are saving as much as possible while behind the wheel.