After your home, your car is probably the biggest expense in your life. With fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs, the expenses may well be driving you up the wall. However, there are ways to cut your driving costs, so short of not using your car as much (the best way to save money and save the planet), here are some tips that we think you will find useful.
Save money on fuel
Do you want to know the best way to waste money on fuel? Drive recklessly! When you go over the speed limit, accelerate rapidly, or brake hard, you are lowering your mileage by around a third. Be sensible and drive carefully.
If you know you are going to be stuck in traffic for a while, or if you’re waiting outside somebody’s home to give them a lift, turn your engine off. You will waste less fuel this way, as according to this article, 10 minutes of idling will use up to one-tenth of a litre of fuel.
Download an app
You should always compare prices at your local fuel stations, as some will be cheaper than others. In general, supermarket fuel pumps will give you more to the gallon, as stores such as Asda and Tesco often engage in price wars, probably as a means to get you into their shopping aisles. Check them out before going to your local Shell or Esso garage, or download one of these apps, which will give you a price comparison of the fuel stations near you.
Keep your tyres inflated
Check your tyre pressure regularly, as research suggests under-inflated tyres can use up to 6% more fuel when driving. While there is very little cost to check them at your local fuel station, you might want to purchase a digital inflator from Halfords to make savings in the long-term.
Save money on insurance
You can get everything cheaper when you shop around, so when it comes time to renew your car insurance, check sites such as MoneySupermarket.com or Confused.com to look for a cheaper deal. Be sure to enter the correct details, however, as while you might be tempted to lie on the online forms to secure a cheaper premium, your insurance will become invalid if your dishonesty is later found out.
Be a safe driver
If you have ever had a driving ban, had points on your license, or made a claim after an accident, then you will appreciate how hard it is to find cheap insurance. Now, there are tips here on how to find cheap car insurance after a drink driving ban, but your better bet is to drive safely so you can secure your driving reputation and your no-claims bonus.
Ask for a black box
If your insurance company offers the option of a black box, snap it up, especially if you know you’re a safe driver. By fitting a small black box (about the size of your mobile) in your car, your insurance company will be able to track your driving habits. If you drive sensibly and to the speed limit, you might be offered a personalised price that will be lower than your usual insurance premium. This is especially relevant if you are a new driver.
Save money on maintenance
Get your car serviced regularly
You should get your car serviced once a year, but if you spot signs of trouble, you should also get your car seen to as soon as possible. While there might be an expense, you need to remember that you will only end up paying more if your car falls into further disrepair down the line.
Do it yourself
From replacing your air filter to touching up your paint job, there are some car maintenance tasks you can do yourself to cut your driving costs. Check the linked article for an extensive list. While you might not be confident in all of them, you should still do what you can. This way, you will spend less money at your local garage.
The cost of motoring can be high, but by following our tips, you should be able to cut your driving costs and curb some of your expenses. Let us know your thoughts, and please share any tips you have with us.
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