Summer has come and gone, which means road trip season is over.
You’ve poured your hard-earned money into your vehicle these last few months with gas, maintenance and, admit it, one too many bags of Funyuns on the road.
Now it’s time to turn your car into a bonafide cash cow so you can save money for next summer.
Here are five tips that will help you save — or make — more money driving.
1. Save up to $460/Year on Car Insurance
The end of the month is a hard time for everyone. Bills are due, and you’re trying to remember what month comes next.
Car insurance is a particularly painful expense around this time. But here’s a secret: You could probably save money by switching plans.
A service called Gabi will help you find a new car insurance plan that fits your needs. And here’s the best part: You don’t even have to fill out any forms.
Just link your insurance account to Gabi, and it will scan your existing plan and coverage, compare other major insurers’ rates for the same coverage and help you switch on the spot. You could save as much as $460 a year, which will buy a ton of Funyuns.
2. Change Your Whole Insurance Game and Pay by the Mile
When your vehicle insurance bill comes due each month, you probably ask yourself, “Why the heck am I paying this much when I just use my car to go to the store?”
It’s eternally frustrating seeing that triple-digit number each month when your mileage might have stayed in the single digits most days.
It doesn’t have to be this way, thanks to MetroMile, a company that lets you pay by the mile for car insurance.
Philadelphia resident Susan Gibbons switched to MetroMile and lowered her payment to $35 per month after spending 30 years with State Farm. By paying by the mile, Gibbons estimates she saves $720 a year on insurance. It makes sense for urban dwellers like her, so it could make sense for you, too.
3. Turn Your Car Into a Moneymaking Machine With Driving Apps
Your car takes a lot from you. Gas, oil, blood, sweat, tears and, most of all, money.
Make your vehicle pick up some of that financial slack by trying out a ride-sharing service.
Uber is another ride-share option that offers similar flexibility and moneymaking opportunities. With its relatively new tipping option, you can also turn on that charm for which you’re so famous and snag a few extra bucks.
And you can help people find an on-demand meal a little more nutritious than your favorite onion-flavored corn chips (OK, we might have a problem) by driving for UberEats. You don’t even need a car for this food-delivery service; you can use your bicycle.
4. Get Cash Back on the Gas You Buy
Maybe you’re one of those people who likes the cold wind in your hair, and fall is your ideal road trip season. Or you might just have a crummy commute.
Either way, there are dozens of gas station credit cards out there that can help you mitigate those gnarly fuel-up fees with cash back. But which one is right for you?
Birch, a platform that customizes reward credit cards for users based on their spending habits, can help you answer that question. And then some.
It’s easy as linking your spending account to the service, then waiting for a rundown of credit cards for which you should consider applying. There’s no fine print: It’s laid out plain and simple.
Now you can rest easy while racking up the miles.
5. Turn That Big Empty RV Into a Rolling ATM
An RV is practically useless most of the year, besides serving as a giant trophy proudly proclaiming to your adventurous nature to the neighborhood.
So when traveling season passes, what good is letting the mold just build up inside old faithful?
The payoff depends on the on your location and the type of vehicle you have. We ran a quick hypothetical and found that Class A models made in the past 15 years can earn you $185 to $375 a night here in St. Petersburg, Florida!
That’s a smart way to make your pricy RV pay for itself — or to at least bank some cash for your next big road trip.
Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He considers Funyuns to be a vegetable and, therefore, a healthy, reliable road trip snack.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.
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