Just because you own a car doesn’t mean you are regularly taking it out for a spin. Perhaps you only use it when you are heading on a road trip, grabbing groceries from the store, or rushing to work when you “didn’t hear your alarm”. When you realize you’ve only clocked 5,000 miles in the past year, you might feel pressed to justify such a large investment. But it’s your car, it’s your way of driving your friends to the beach this weekend. We get it, which is why we compiled some easy ways to keep your car running smoothly and maybe even leverage it to earn some extra cash.
Know the basics: There’s no need to spend a lot of time and money on car maintenance when you aren’t driving much, but there are a few tips to remember in order to avoid costly repairs. Know how to deal with a flat tire and keep your tires properly inflated. It’s also important to change your oil on a regular basis as it keeps your car running smoothly and extends the life of the vehicle. Lastly, fix your brakes if they are squeaky because that likely means the brake lining is starting to wear thin. There’s no need to stop your car on the side of the road, but you should get them serviced soon after you hear the noise. If you are hungry for more car maintenance advice, we had one of our customer experience advocates share her favorite tips.
Be smart about car storage: If you are leaving your car idle for a long time, the ideal place to store it is in a garage because it prevents theft and also protects against the elements like that blazing summer sun. Garage parking can be expensive, especially in the city, so if you don’t need frequent access to your car you should shop around for the cheapest garage space instead of paying a premium to park in the closest garage. If the most viable option is keeping it outside, consider purchasing waterproof car cover to keep it clean to save on long term costs of wear and tear. Read more in our recent blog post about car storage tips.
Enhance your driving experience: Even though you don’t drive much, the time you spend in your car should be enjoyable and worth every penny of ownership. Skip the radio and download a free music streaming service – there’s now tons of options like Spotify, Songza, and Pandora. You can also make your car a smart car by downloading Metromile’s free smart driving app. We will send you the Metromile Tag, a device that wirelessly connects to your phone and delivers useful driving information including street sweeping alerts (saving you more money!), a car locator, driving stats, and more. Finally, download Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. You’ll get real-time traffic and road info, so when you do drive, you can get to your destination as fast as possible.
Try pay-per-mile insurance: If you are a low-mileage driver and drive less than 10,000 miles a year (around 200 each week) you could save a lot of money with per-mile insurance. Your monthly bill is based on the miles you drive, so if you don’t drive much, you won’t pay much. Worried about the occasional road trip? Metromile won’t bill you for more than 150 miles a day (250 in WA)! If you are interested in seeing how much money you could save, try getting a free insurance quote.