Ways to Save Money Driving

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Did you know that it’s possible to save money while driving?  I have some easy ways you can actually save money while in your car.

Ways to save money driving

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of NationwideMutual Insurance Company. I purchased my own insurance at normal prices. All opinions are 100% mine.

Like many of you, I’m a busy mom.

Whether I’m running errands during the day or shuttling my son to his after-school activities, I am always on the go.  Sometimes I feel like my car is my second home.

All of the time spent in my car can really add up – between fuel, maintenance and wear and tear on my vehicle.

But, I recently learned some tips than can actually help me SAVE money while driving my car.

Ways to save money driving

My husband and I recently participated in Nationwide’s SmartRide Program.  We’ve had our vehicle insurance through Nationwide since we were married – over 16 years.

Nationwide’s SmartRide program rewards safe driving behavior. We simply installed a small device that measured our driving behavior.

It was a cinch to install — we simply followed the directions and snapped it into place.

Each week, I received emailed reports of our activity and estimated savings.  My husband and I are both a little competitive so we would both wait to see who had the bigger estimated discount each week!

The SmartRide program measured several variables such as mileage, time of day, fast accelerations, hard brakes and idle time.  By reading our Smart Ride weekly driving reports we learned some great tips for saving:

1.  Drive smoothly.  Try to avoid fast accelerations and keep your pace steady.  This will help decrease fuel consumption.

2. Avoid hard braking.  This wastes gas and causes your brake pads to wear out quickly. By maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other cars, you won’t need to brake as often and you can begin braking earlier.

3.  Cut down warm up/cool down times.  We live in the northeast so warming up our car in the winter and cooling it down in the summer is a must.  But you don’t need to idle for more than a few minutes before driving.  Extensive idling wastes fuel and modern cars don’t require as much warm up or cool down time as older cars did.

4.  Drive Less.  Participating the Smart Ride program taught us to plan out our errands and activities so we spend less time driving. Not only did this save us on gas and wear and tear on our cars, but less driving time also affected our overall program discount.

5.  Check your insurance rates regularly.  One of the biggest lessons I learned by participating in Nationwide’s SmartRide program was to check my insurance rates every couple of years.  Prior to enrolling in the program, we had not checked our policy in almost 16 years.

After meeting with our agent to enroll in the SmartRide program, we were eligible for a considerable savings just by updating our existing policy.   And, now that we’ve completed the SmartRide program, we’re going to save even more on our vehicle insurance.

Overall, this was a great experience.  It was incredibly easy to do and once the gadget was inserted, there was nothing else to do. Plus, we ended up saving money.

I know you probably have questions.  I sure did.

I asked our agent if our rates go up based on the data collected?  My Nationwide agent assured me that they would NOT go up based on this data.

But, we could end up saving up to 40% on our auto insurance.  When you enroll in SmartRide, you immediately get a 10% discount just for participating.

I wasn’t sure what type of data would be collected and how it was assessed.  The SmartRide program measured several factors such as mileage, time of day, fast accelerations, hard brakes and idle time.  Each week, I received a driving report for each of our vehicles showing exactly how our weekly driving habits affected our estimated discounts.

Like I said my husband and I had a friendly competition going as to who had the greatest estimated discount!  In the end, he ended up winning by 1% in our final discounts!   I’m sure that’s because we drove my car more often.

Participating in Nationwide’s SmartRide Program was one of the best financial decisions we’ve made.  I highly recommend contacting your Nationwide agent to see how you can participate in the SmartRide program and begin saving money on your car insurance.  You can find your local Nationwide agent at Nationwide.com.

You can learn more about my experience here:

Nationwide asked that I include this information about the product: Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliates. Columbus, Ohio. Availability varies; program criteria differs in California. Stated discounts are approximations.  Discounts do not apply to all coverage elements; actual savings vary by state, coverage selections, rating factors and policy changes. Enrollment discount applies during data collection; final discount is calculated on driving behavior and could be zero. Final discount applies at the next policy renewal and is subject to change based upon actuarial support at subsequent renewals or with changes in drivers or vehicles on the policy.

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