The most effective way to reduce driving expenses is to simply stop driving. If you live in any part of New York State other than in the heart of Manhattan, though, this isn’t a realistic option. If you live in New York, you need to drive. Here are two other, more realistic ways, to reduce your driving costs if you live in New York.

Take a New York Defensive Driving Class

For many drivers in New York, traffic school can more than pay for itself in insurance savings. For drivers who have violations, the point reduction alone that many of these classes offer can sometimes significantly reduce monthly premiums. Even drivers who don’t have points on their license, though, can benefit from defensive driving lessons. Many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who have successfully completed an approved course.

If you haven’t taken a defensive driving class recently, this is often the best way to reduce your driving expenses. The insurance discounts usually last for three years, so it’s worth enrolling in a class every three years.

Find Cheap Gas Everywhere in the State

After you’ve completed traffic school, the next best way to reduce your driving expenses is to find cheap gas prices. After all, you use gas every time you get behind the wheel of your car — and you must pay for more gas each time your tank is empty.

Whether you’re driving in your hometown or across the state, there are many tools that will help you find the best price at the pump. Here are a few of our favorite websites:

If you prefer to use an app, we like the following:

  • GasBuddy (iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry; free) will show you the reported prices at gas stations in a specific area, displaying them in a list or on a map
  • GasGuru (iOS, Android; free) will show you reported gas prices at gas stations in a specific area, lets you save stations and provides directions to stations
  • Scout GPS Navigation & Meet Up (iOS, Android; free) provides prices at gas stations (although not user-reported prices) and directions to stations; it also can help you locate many other businesses

See Significant Savings Over Time

Although they’re small changes, reducing your auto insurance premiums by taking defensive driving lessons and always checking for the lowest gas prices in your part of New York will lead to significant savings over time. Lowering these regular driving expenses won’t immediately make you rich, but it will reduce your ongoing driving expenses — and keep more cash in your wallet.