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Life Hacks for Cars, Simple things to save time and money

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Updated June 24th, 2020

You spend a lot of time in your car. In fact, if you’re like most people, your car is your home away from home.

But are you getting the most out of it?

Finding a simple trick or hack to make life in your car easier can pay huge dividends, in terms of both time and money saved.

Below are a few such hacks that can make your 2nd home feel less like a box and more like a palace.

The Most Powerful Tool You’ll Ever Have in Your Car

There’s one thing that can make the biggest difference in terms of your overall driving experience, and it’s something you’re probably not getting the most out of.

It’s your smartphone.

With a smartphone, you can get an app for just about everything.

This means that virtually any common, annoying driving problem can be easily solved (or at least reduced) by using your phone.

Here’s just a partial list of what your phone can do for you:

  • Navigate traffic and unfamiliar places with a GPS app

  • Avoid speed traps and red light cameras with apps like Waze

  • Park Me Right helps you remember where you parked your car (or find parking on a crowded street)

  • Apps like Car Minder Plus remind you of when it’s time to perform regular maintenance

  • Keep you from getting ripped off by shady mechanics with Repair Pal

  • Gas Buddy helps you find the nearest station when you’re running on fumes

This is far from an exhaustive list. Anytime you’re faced with a sticky situation while driving, pull out your smartphone (after you park, of course).

Chances are, there’s an app that can solve your problem for you.

Keep Your Car Clean

Nothing can take the fun out of driving quite like sitting in a mobile pig sty. However, it seems like cars just naturally fill up with junk overnight, regardless of your best efforts.

The secret to keeping a pristine car is to make it easier to keep it clean than it is to mess it up. The best way to do this is by providing yourself quick, convenient places to store junk and trash.

  • Line a plastic cereal container with a trash bag for a small, easily accessible trash can (you’ll be amazed at how quickly this fills up, especially if you eat in your car a lot)

  • Use mesh bungee to store items on the ceiling. This is great for any items that you don’t use a lot, but need in your car all the same, like maps, umbrellas, and manuals (bonus: the mesh can also double as a coat rack when you’re traveling)

  • Get a small container or two to hold spare change, pens, and any other small items that come in handy but can get all over the place

Keeping your car clean and organized can make a huge difference on how enjoyable it is to be stuck in your car for a few hours.

Plus, it saves you from apologizing to any unexpected guests when they have to move a stack of old magazines and hamburger wrappers just to ride shotgun. 

Make Your Car Perform at Its Best

Cars are modern necessities…but they can be a tremendous drain on your finances, especially with high gas prices. Get the most bang for your buck by applying the tricks below:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated: this is huge for gas mileage. Look for gas stations that offer free air, or just remember to check your tires every time you fill up your tank

  • Change your air filter regularly: by improving the air intake your car gets, you’ll improve combustion and boost the mileage too – this can mean big savings over time

  • If possible, change your work hours: if you can avoid rush hours during the work week, you’ll save more than time – you’ll also avoid stop-and-go traffic, which is an incredible drain on your mileage

  • Buy higher quality fuel: it may be tempting to get the cheap stuff from the discount brands, but that gas is cheap for a reason. Higher quality fuel has less ethanol, so it burns more slowly

Not only will these tips help you save money in the short term, but they’ll help extend the life of your car – saving you big money down the road.

Your Car is Your Castle

With these simple hacks you can make your car more comfortable, more presentable, and more efficient.

Not only does that put money in your pocket, but it also makes your day-to-day commute much more pleasant.

Shaun Fyffe

Shaun Fyffe

Shaun is an auto insurance expert with ten years of experience as a researcher and content writer. He's fluent in Spanish, teaching it plus AP computer science at Nyack Public Schools in New York. He has a B.A. in Spanish, B.S. in computer science from Florida State University, and an M.A. from SUNY New Paltz. He also is the lead editor for AutoInsureSavings.org.

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