How to significantly reduce the cost of a car without harming it

Whether it is possible not to spend too much on a personal car and what items of expenses for an “iron horse” can be cut.Buying a new car lately is the most difficult, and for many Russians, an insurmountable quest . Therefore, against the backdrop of a shortage, as well as rising prices for cars, spare parts and consumables, many seek to keep what they have.

But so that the existing car does not become a burden for the family budget , and it does not have to be sold for as long as possible, it will not be superfluous to cut car expenses. Of course, without significant harm to the car. Auto asked auto experts how best to do this.

Save on fuel

Gasoline is one of the main items of expenditure for every motorist. Therefore, to reduce fuel costs, you should choose the right average speed of movement. “The best option for driving around the city is 70 km/h, on the highway — from 75 to 90 km/h,” says Roman Timashov, AvtoDom Altufyevo service director. Driving a car at a speed higher than recommended leads to burning 10-20% more fuel than necessary.”

The expert also advises to think over the route of the trip in advance and avoid traffic congestion. According to him, a car in a traffic jam burns about 1-1.5 liters of fuel per hour. And bypassing a section with heavy traffic sometimes saves not only time, but also gasoline . “In warm and hot weather, be careful where you park your car. It is important to avoid direct sunlight, because when the car heats up, evaporation increases and fuel is consumed faster,” Timashov sums up.

Don’t cause a breakdown

Maintenance and repairs, along with fuel costs, make up a significant part of the cost of owning a personal car, which, according to Russian Automotive Market Research (NAPI), increased by more than 20% in Russia in early summer. The best way to save on visits to the  service and auto parts  is not to bring them to them. Therefore, now the main thing is to avoid major breakdowns and costly repairs, says Yulia Ovchinnikova, development director of the Klyuchavto auto holding.

“This means the need to make check-ups in time and maintain the car proactively, that is, to diagnose problems in advance,” the expert clarifies. “For such a diagnosis, expertise is needed, which gray services cannot always provide. Therefore, saving money by turning to unofficial services may turn out to be more expensive for yourself – they, as a rule, are aimed at solving, first of all, current technical problems.

According to Yulia Ovchinnikova, such resources as original high-quality spare parts, qualified employees and technical expertise are the advantages of official dealers. And to save money when  contacting the service of an official dealer, promotional offers and loyalty programs will help. Such offers are available not only from dealers, but also from importers of brands.

Don’t waste money on labor and parts

Maintenance and repairs, which together with fuel account for about two-thirds of all car costs, can be saved in another way – to do something yourself. “Expensive work is not always high quality. You can do some work yourself if you have the desire and time,” says Gleb Lubennikov, Tencar car rental service development director.

You can carry out maintenance every 15 thousand km instead of 10, but here you will not only save money, but delay the inevitable costs.

“In general, before puzzling over how to reduce the cost of a car, it is worth answering the question: how long are you going to operate the car. If not for long, then there is no point in seriously investing in it (especially in the body, engine and box). You can use the most inexpensive oils, filters , etc. – this is enough until you put the car up for sale, ”summed up the expert.

Don’t overpay for a brand

“As a rule, automakers produce only large key parts themselves – body parts, engine blocks and “sub-assemblies”. The rest is at the mercy of “third-party suppliers”. – told Auto Nikolai Barinov from the club car service “Details” – For example, all technical fluids are the lot of chemical concerns. This means that in order to save money, you do not need to buy the same oils and liquids in “branded canisters”. You simply overpay for packaging.


According to the expert, the most important document is the SDS (safety data sheet). You can immediately see who the manufacturer is. In short, Nissan is Total, Russian Nissan is Obninskorgsintez, Toyota is Exxon, Mazda is Total, European VAG is Shell, and Russian VAG is Lukoil. Do not overpay – just buy e-liquids from “well-known manufacturers”. A similar situation with other consumables – belts, candles, pads, bearings and ball. None of the automakers makes them on their own, the auto expert concluded.

Use the hidden features of the car

As practice shows, many car owners panic when “Jackie Chan” (Check Engine) lights up on the dashboard. Establishing the reasons for its appearance “computer diagnostics” usually costs about 1000-1500 rubles. However, you can do it yourself, says Nikolai Barinov from the Details car service. In order to read errors, the usual ELM327 diagnostic adapter, which costs less than 1000 rubles, is quite enough.

Or you can use the hidden features of the machine , which the manuals are silent about. Many cars allow you to enter the so-called “self-diagnosis” mode, the auto expert claims. That is, you can read all error codes through the dashboard. On cars older than 20 years, for this it was necessary to jumper the diagnostic connector. And on more recent ones, it’s enough to do manipulations with the ignition key and the “trip” buttons, or with the gas pedal. Fault codes will be displayed through Morse code or directly on the on-board computer screen. At a minimum, Nissans , American and partially Japanese cars allow you to do this.


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