The average American driver will spend around 13,000 miles behind the wheel each year. Some will drive far less, and some will drive far more. Motorists who have a long commute, travel a lot by car, or simply love the feel of the open road are known as high-mileage drivers. They will drive many times the national average, even above 100,000 miles a year in some cases.
If you are a high-mileage driver you need to take some special precautions when purchasing vehicles, getting maintenance, and pouring miles onto the odometer. Make sure your travels are always as peaceful as possible by taking this advice:
Know Your Gas Mileage
Logging a lot of miles means burning a lot of gas. There are steps you can take to reduce your fuel usage. First, however, you need to understand how much gas your vehicle uses. Start by calculating your miles per gallon. You can do this by simply tracking the number of gallons between fill-ups, then dividing by the number of gallons you added. Once you know your vehicle’s mpg you can begin estimating (and managing) your fuel costs before your next big trip.
Invest in Roadside Assistance
It doesn’t matter what kind of condition your vehicle is in or how safely you drive – you can still get stranded in your vehicle. Things like a flat tire, a dead battery, or ending up in a ditch beside an icy road are unpredictable and often unavoidable. Roadside assistance is a huge help if and when you need it. High-mileage drivers should consider it essential.
Practice Preventative Maintenance
Every component on a vehicle wears our over time, most on a predictable schedule. For instance, after 3,000 miles of driving your engine oil starts to get dirty and cause more friction. Knowing when your vehicle components wear out and replacing them early helps you avoid a lot of breakdowns and car trouble. Look up the full maintenance schedule for your vehicle, paying particular attention to the fluids, the brakes, and the tires.
Find the Right Financing
High-mileage drivers don’t necessarily want a brand-new car. Since they run through cars quickly, many are looking for a good deal on a used vehicle that still has a lot of miles left in it. Finding these vehicles is easy, but financing can be a challenge. A lot of first-time car buyers face this same problem when they go searching for something affordable. Just because some financing options are closed to high-mileage drivers or first-time buyers does not mean it’s impossible to get an auto loan.
Buy Something Comfortable
Spending hour after hour in the car can be painful on your back, legs, and, after a while, your whole body. Small cabins and bad seats turn driving into a painful experience, which is the opposite of what the high-mileage driver wants.
As you shop for vehicles, look for something that fits your body type and driving style. Make sure the seats adjust how you want them to and the features are easy to access. Before buying anything, imagine what it would be like to spend all day in the interior.
Meet a Good Mechanic
Maintenance is a fact of life for the high-mileage driver. Since you rely on your car for so much and spend so much money keeping it in shape, find a mechanic you can trust. It’s easier said than done, but absolutely worth the effort. Whenever your car is making a strange noise or needs a quick oil change you always have someone you can turn to.
The final, most obvious, and most important tip is to always drive safely. High-mileage drivers probably know this better than anyone else. Still, it always bears repeating. Find the right vehicle, maintain it properly, and drive it carefully. If everyone followed these three rules the roads would be safer for everyone, especially the ones on an endless long-distance drive.
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