fuel economy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9245/all en-US 7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_000023883579.jpg" alt="Woman making money mistakes everyone makes with their first car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to make money mistakes anytime you buy a car &mdash; but your first car is especially risky. Here are some expensive first-time car buying mistakes and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. Buying the Wrong Kind of Car</h2> <p>When shopping for your first car, it's easy to overlook how you're going to actually use it in the long term. You might think about picking up friends to go out, but overlook routine chores such as hauling groceries home. Your car needs can change rapidly. You don't want a two-seater if your family could grow to three or more within a couple short years. The best way to save money on car expenses is to drive the same car for many years, so choose wisely!</p> <h2>2. Buying a Car With Poor Fuel Economy</h2> <p>If you are buying your first car, you probably aren't used to experiencing pain at the pump, and consequently you may not consider the cost of keeping gas in a pick-up truck. With the current low gas prices, you may not feel that fuel economy is a major consideration &mdash; but don't fall for this expensive mistake. If you choose a car that gets half the fuel economy, you'll pay twice as much for gas &mdash; no matter what happens to the price of gas. And just because gas prices are low today doesn't mean they'll stay low forever. If you buy a fuel hog and gas prices go up, it could seriously impact the resale value of your vehicle down the road.</p> <h2>3. Surprise Maintenance Required</h2> <p>Used cars are much less expensive to buy than new, and are a great choice for a first car. But sometimes a used vehicle can have expensive problems that are not obvious until after you have driven off in it. Never buy a vehicle with a check engine light on unless you understand what maintenance is required to resolve the issue. The problems indicated by a check engine light can cost only a few dollars to repair &mdash; such as replacing the gas cap &mdash; or thousands. The only way to know is to get the car checked out by a mechanic who can read the diagnostic codes, investigate the trouble, and provide an estimate for repairs.</p> <p>Even if the check engine light is not on, I recommend having any used vehicle checked over by a mechanic before you buy it. Getting a vehicle inspection can be a bit inconvenient and costs around $50, but you could save thousands by avoiding a car with expensive maintenance needs. You can also use the inspection report as a bargaining tool to get a better price. Do you really want to risk buying a used car without knowing what could be wrong with it?</p> <h2>4. Buying to Impress</h2> <p>Start your car search by thinking of the things you need a car to do. It needs to be reliable, get you to where you are going, and hold the things you need to haul. That's pretty much it. There are all kinds of options and upgrades available, but these do not change the basic functionality of a car.</p> <p>It is easy to think that a nice car will impress people and make your life better, but any reliable car provides the same basic utility. Try to approach buying a car as you would buying a tool, and don't let emotion overcome your judgment about what a car can do for you.</p> <h2>5. Thinking of a Vehicle as an Investment</h2> <p>Just because cars are expensive doesn't mean they are an investment. Almost any car you buy will drop significantly in value after only a few years. Dealers may encourage you to buy a more expensive car so it will have better resale value later. It is true that certain options such as automatic transmission and all-wheel drive improve resale value, but other options that add thousands of dollars to you car cost may bring only a few hundred dollars of resale value years later. Buying a car is an expense, not an investment. Try to minimize how much you need to spend to obtain safe, reliable transportation.</p> <h2>6. Not Negotiating on Price</h2> <p>Price negotiation can be a new concept for first-time car buyers. Car prices are not like prices for other items for sale &mdash; the sticker price is only a suggestion, and the seller is almost always ready to sell it for less. If you pay full asking price for a car, you are likely paying hundreds, or even thousands, more than you need to pay. With a few minutes of research on the Internet, you can arm yourself with the information you need to confidently negotiate a lower price. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/speed-past-car-debt-with-this-simple-timing-trick">Speed Past Car Debt With This Simple Timing Trick</a>)</p> <h2>7. Getting Tricked Into Dealer Financing</h2> <p>At the end of the car buying process, there is one more chance to make a costly mistake &mdash; dealer financing. The dealer may try to convince first-time car buyers that it will be difficult for them to get financing at all. After taking down some information and working some magic, they will appear with a financing offer and say that you were lucky to qualify. Just sign and the car is yours &mdash; along with its big monthly payments. The problem is that the interest rate from the dealer may be substantially higher than the rate you could get elsewhere. Avoid this trap by getting prequalified for financing at an online lender, credit union, or bank before you go car shopping. This way, you will know how much you can borrow and find a good interest rate before you fall in love with the car.</p> <p><em>What mistakes did you make when buying your first car?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-change-the-bulb-just-remove-the-bumper-wait-what">To change the bulb, just remove the bumper. Wait, what? - UPDATED.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation financing fuel economy gas prices maintenance Mistakes negotiating new cars Tue, 02 Feb 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1647337 at http://www.wisebread.com How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car. http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2467025428_c6d66a3c02.jpg" alt="gas money" title="gas money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There have been several great articles written by my fellow Wisebread writers on <a href="/gas-efficient-driving">gas efficient driving</a> , <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">slowing down </a> and <a href="/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">hypermiling</a> . I think the sign of a good blog is that we take our own advice, and in the case of gasoline, I’ll take all the help I can get. But even I was shocked at the amazing results I got.</p> <p>Before I took the advice, the best I got out of my 2006 VW Passat was 31.8 mpg. And I was happy with that. As you can see from the image below, the top mpg for my vehicle is 28mpg highway, and a paltry 19mpg city. So, I felt good about myself.</p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_1_6.png" alt="vw passat" title="vw passat" width="457" height="344" /></p> <p>But as it turned out, I had a lot of bad driving habits. For a start, I was guilty of a lead foot, slamming it down as soon as the lights turned green. I would drive at the speed limit or just above, which meant doing 70mph when I was allowed. And I would often drive a little too close to the car in front. Not dangerously so, but enough to make me have to stop more quickly at a red light.</p> <p>With all of this going on, I was still a pretty good driver. Getting my 31.8 mpg was nice to see (I have one of those mpg monitors in my display, which is very handy). But, I wanted to see if I could squeeze a little more out of my car using the tips from <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">Lynn</a> and <a href="/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">David</a> .</p> <p><strong>Here’s what I did:</strong></p> <p>First, I slowed down. I found 55-60mph was all I needed to do. Sure, it sometimes added a little more time to my journey, but only a few minutes. On my morning commute, I set off a little earlier.</p> <p>I left much more space between my car and the car in front. This allowed my to coast more, and I did a lot less braking. Sometimes I would find myself never stopping, but merely slowing and speeding up. And remember, when you stop at a light you’re getting a big fat ZERO mpg.</p> <p>I stopped treating traffic lights like the beginning of a Nascar race. Instead, when the light turned green I pulled away slow and steady. Sometimes I’d hear honking horns but I just ignored them. So what? </p> <p>I used my cruise control. This is one of those hypermiling tips that is killer. Unlike the accelerator peddle, the cruise control + and – settings are much more accurate and controllable. I could accelerate by 1/2mph or 1mph, and slow down in the same way. This is very gas efficient. </p> <p>That was it. I started a few months ago, and this week I hit 45mpg on a trip that I used to get 29mpg on. The proof is below. It’s not the best quality, it was taken on my cell phone, but it’s not tampered with in any way. Scout’s honor. </p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/52008_082.jpg" alt="pauls car" title="pauls car" width="375" height="500" /></p> <p>What does that mean monetarily? Well, my car has an 18.5gallon tank. It costs around $65 to fill it up (and who knows how much more that will increase to…scary thought).</p> <p>Using my old method of driving, the most mileage I can get from that tank (if I’m only taking highway journeys) is 588 miles. That’s 31.8 x 18.5. Now, with my new method of driving I can get 832 miles from that one tank of gas. That’s 244 extra miles, or about 5 gallons of fuel. That’s a bunch! And I’m filling my car up every two weeks, which means Wisebread has saved me up to $40 each month. And by the way, I don&#39;t do a lot of city driving, but when I do I still get 34mpg. That&#39;s almost double the estimate for my vehicle.  </p> <p>It just goes to show…it pays to listen to your friends sometimes. Thanks Lynn and David. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon">What will you do when gas drops below $1.50 a gallon?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Cars and Transportation General Tips fuel economy gas mileage gas prices gasoline mpg save money Fri, 23 May 2008 17:25:47 +0000 Paul Michael 2121 at http://www.wisebread.com