Austin is known for things like live music, outdoor activities and a vibrant arts scene. Unfortunately, the metro is also known for one less desirable characteristic: traffic. Although sitting in traffic can take a toll on the health of your vehicle, following a few simple guidelines can help ensure you're not spending a fortune on your car.
1. Monitor Gas Prices
Sitting in rush-hour traffic on Interstate 35 for an hour or more each day can waste a lot of gas. Online tools such as GasBuddy.com or Austin Gas Prices will help you find the most affordable gas in any part of town at any time so you can get the best bang for your buck when filling your tank.
2. Ask About Flexible Work Schedules
Austin is home to some of the nation's most progressive companies and many offer unique benefits to their employees. Talk to your supervisor to find out if your workplace allows employees to work from home or vary arrival and departure times. Less time sitting in traffic means more time for productivity and potentially more money in your pocket.
3. Examine Your Insurance Policy
Auto insurance protects you against a large financial loss if you have an accident, and it's required by law. The current minimum liability limits in Texas are $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident; this is known as 30/60/25 coverage.
Make sure you factor your auto insurance policy into the overall cost of owning your car and your policy is comprehensive enough to cover you in the event of an accident. If it's been a while since you've checked your policy, contact our insurance experts at UHCU Insurance Services to see if you can save money and get better coverage. You can request a free auto insurance quote at any time regardless of whether or not your policy is up for renewal.
4. Keep Up with Maintenance
It's important that you properly care for your vehicle by following the recommended routine maintenance schedule. Routine maintenance includes having your oil changed and tires rotated at specific mileage or time intervals. Simple things – like using the recommended grade of motor oil and keeping your tires properly inflated – can even improve your gas mileage. Plus, if you're keeping up with maintenance, you're less likely to have major, costly issues with your car further down the road.
5. Consider Refinancing Your Car
High monthly car payments can put a strain on your financial situation. If interest rates are lower than they were when you purchased your vehicle or your credit has improved substantially since, consider refinancing your auto loan. Refinancing your auto loan could reduce your loan rate, thereby lowering your monthly payments or shortening your loan term. United Heritage Credit Union's Auto Loan rates are historically low. Head to our Auto Loans page now to find out what you would save by refinancing your current auto loan.
Auto insurance provided by UHCU Insurance Services, LLC.
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