If you are over the age of 65 and still drive a car, you are one of 40 million seniors on the road in America, according to a study by a major consumer website. While driving your own car can be a pleasure and offer you a feeling of independence, it can be costly as well, especially when it comes to repairs and maintenance. However, there are several ways you can cut these costs and ease the financial pinch of owning a vehicle on a fixed income.
1. Keep Track of Maintenance Records
While some garages may give you a sticker for your windshield to remind you when your next oil change should take place, keeping careful written records of all your car's maintenance needs can uncover small problems before they turn into major disasters. It is wise to track fluid changes, tire rotations, and brake pad replacements so you can schedule the next date well in advance to avoid repairs caused by accidental negligence. This can be especially important if you own an older car or drive one with high mileage.
2. Shop Around for Special Deals
If your car needs servicing and you do not have a regular mechanic, it may pay to shop around for deals that apply to you as a senior. Many shops offer daily deals for those 65 and over on services that include maintenance, tire replacement, and basic repairs. Review each deal carefully, as some may have hidden fees or exclusions that pop up at the time of payment. If you take your car in, remember to review the work order with the mechanic to ensure there are no additional costs that may negate a discount.
3. Ask Your Insurance Agent for Guidance
When it comes to finding repair and maintenance deals as a senior driver, you might not have to look any further than your insurance agent. He or she may be able to offer you extra insight on where to find the best deals or recommend a certified mechanic connected with the agency. Working with local insurance agents can yield considerable savings, as even large companies run hometown offices where you can chat with an insurance expert.
Driving as a senior can present certain financial challenges, especially in the case of maintaining your car. However, deals, discounts, and a bit of diligence can help you cut costs.