Personal Finance Round-Up: Cutting Automotive Costs

car calculatorThe U.S. automotive industry reported an impressive sales growth in May according to International Business Times. This is excellent news for an industry that was nearly wiped out by foreign competition and the economic downturn a mere four years ago. Thanks to a slow yet consistent rebound in the housing market and an uptick in consumer spending, the demand for new vehicles is on the rise.

This is a positive sign for companies like Tesla, the first company to produce highway-ready electric vehicles that accommodate all federal regulations for the mass market. Tesla Motors recently announced a comprehensive expansion of the Tesla Supercharger network. This expansion, part of the company’s quest to alleviate damage from its now infamous $100M gaffe with the New York Times, sets the company in prime position to dominate the North American automotive industry. Soon, customers who are hesitant to invest in electric cars for fear of their functionality will be able to travel with ease across the states and beyond.

If you’re one of the consumers waiting on the sidelines for the next wave of great electric vehicle enhancements, there are still ways you can cut your automotive-related expenses:

Should Your Next Car Be Electric? [Wise Bread]
Kelly highlights the pros and cons of going electric with your next car purchase – from the initial price of the car and its impact on environmental concerns to the efficiency of the vehicle and concerns about its ability to travel long distances. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to purchase an electric car, you will want to read this as part of your research.

Various Ways to Save Money on Car Rental, Any Season Any Place  [One Cent at a Time]
When discussing automotive expenses, one shouldn’t discount the ability to save on rentals due to their repeated occurrence in most people’s vacation plans. SB highlights how he’s never spent more than $20 a day on a rental car using these 20+ tips.

Got in a Car Accident Yesterday… [Budgets are Sexy]
Car accidents are scary…and expensive. If you find yourself in the position J was recently in, you’ll want to follow the steps he lists to ensure you’re doing everything possible to help the insurance process run smoothly.

Why Do Gas Prices Keep Going Up (and What You Can Do to Save) [Three Thrifty Guys]
We all know that gas prices have been on the rise for the past few years. We’ve experienced the casual, temporary dips along the way, but we’ve also been plagued with years of high fuel costs in the U.S. If you need some perspective, just check out the prices of various other countries around the world – could you imagine paying upwards of $9/gallon in Turkey? The fact remains that prices here are still higher than we’d like. Aaron wants to understand why this is and how we can reduce our costs moving forward.

Would You Take a 97-Month Car Loan? [Cash Money Life]
On the surface, the lower payments associated with taking a car loan out for a long period of time can seem quite attractive. But as Kevin highlights, sometimes what lurks beneath the surface can wreak major havoc on your finances. Before you’re tempted to sign on the dotted line to extend the life of your loan outside of the standard 60-month period, consider these risks that come along with the decision.

When Pigs Fly: How I Fought My Parking Ticket and Beat City Hall [Len Penzo dot Com]
If you live in an urban area, parking tickets might be part of your monthly budget. Despite their pesky existence in our busy lives, there are ways to fight the man when it comes time to pay – especially if there’s been a meter malfunction or some other reason why the ticket truly shouldn’t be yours.