Commuter Crisis: How to Handle Auto Costs as Inflation Throttles Prices

The cost of driving your vehicle has never been higher, as inflation drives gas pricesup to new heights. Add in auto insurance hikes and increases to repair costs, and your car can wind up burning through more of your budget this year.

While prices have seen a historic rise across the board, some places have been hit harder than others. Idaho, for example, finds itself in the top 10 list of most expensive states in the U.S.

Like many states, Idaho lawmakers are considering tax cuts to help people handle these rising costs. However, these changes won’t help you with your day-to-day costs right now.

For that, you’ll need a little extra help. Here are some ideas on how to handle common auto expenses—from unexpected repairs to your usual fill-up at the tanks.

Affording an Unexpected Repair

You come out of the house to realize you have a flat tire or your battery is dead. These problems aren’t something you can predict or prevent with regular maintenance. Sometimes, bad luck just happens.

Unfortunately, a new tire or battery can be a big challenge for your budget. With inflation taking up more of each paycheck, you may not have the cash for an unexpected repair.

In these urgent situations, an online installment loan might provide a safety net. The best installment loans Idaho has to offer come with reasonable payment schedules. They may be easier to handle, especially when compared to direct payday loans.

Rather than repaying what you owe in one lump sum as you would a payday loan, you’ll have multiple weeks or months to pay off your debt. This breaks up each individual payment into a smaller sum, so you don’t have to come up with all the money at once.

Research your options for borrowing money in Idaho before signing across the dotted line. Rate shopping can help you find the best fit for your budget. You might even find installment loans for bad credit.

Cutting Gas Costs

Now that inflation has hit the pumps, gas in a state like Idaho costs $3.55 per gallon — 50 cents higher than the national average.

You might not have to pay these extortionate prices if you’re strategic where you fill up. Apps like GasBuddy, Waze, and Dash cab help you find the cheapest stations in your area.

More often than not, you’ll find cheap gas is at Costco.

Another way to save on gas is capitalizing on rewards points and loyalty cards. Consider using a gas credit card that turns your purchase at the pump into redeemable money.

Lowering Auto Insurance

Did your insurance premiums go up this year? You may not have to increase your deductibles to reduce what you pay. Try talking to your insurance company about how they can lower your bills.

If you aren’t sure how, this script can take you through the steps of a successful negotiation. Make sure you understand your policy and other offers inside-out to maximize your success.

Bottom Line

Driving costs are going up, especially if you live in Idaho or another expensive state. With no signs of inflation tamping the brakes yet, it’s a good bet you’ll be paying these higher prices for a while. Follow these tips to get a handle on your commute, so you aren’t paying more than you can afford to be on the road.

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