Motoring Costs: Twenty Ways You Can Save Money

The cost of living is soaring in the UK, and a lot of our expenses stem from our cars. Here’s twenty ways you can save money on your motoring costs…

Avoid Premium Fuel

Some drivers are tempted to fill up their vehicles with premium fuels; assuming they will clean out their car’s components and provide better mpg. However, there’s little evidence that they do either. If there is, it tends to relate to high-performance vehicles that the average driver is unlikely to ever find themselves in.

Shop Around for Fuel

Fuel prices vary all of the time, regardless of the wholesale price of oil. As a general rule, supermarkets tend to be cheaper than independent retailers. This is because of their increased buying power, and because they hope that you’ll pop in for groceries after being lured in by cheaper petrol or diesel.

Don’t Be Loyal to Insurance Providers

There’s absolutely no benefit in being loyal to your car insurance provider. Until recently, the industry actually used a so-called ‘loyalty tax’, hiking up the premiums of long-standing customers who couldn’t be bothered to shop around. When your insurance is up for renewal, try to get a couple of quotes to keep your motoring costs down.

Protect Your No Claims Bonus

One way to keep your car insurance costs down is simply by not making a claim. The best way to do this is by driving safely and obeying the Highway Code. It’s also unwise to claim on minor repair work, as it could cost you more in the long-term than simply paying for it yourself.

Don’t Overestimate Annual Mileage

Many Brits overestimate their annual mileage. On average, most of us clock up less than 8,000 miles a year; which isn’t much compared to other countries, such as America. In which case, make sure you know yours before telling your insurer.

Wash Your Own Car

Washing your car yourself is a straightforward way to save on motoring costs. Sure, it can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s not rocket science and can actually be quite satisfying (even therapeutic).

Don’t Use Your Car’s Heating

Heating up your car takes a lot of energy and will burn through a lot of fuel. It’s much more economical to simply put on an extra layer of clothing during the colder months.

Keep On Top of Servicing 

Getting your car serviced can be expensive, depending on the work that needs doing. But dodging the garage is unwise. For a start, it means your car may end up being a danger to yourself and other road-users. In addition, it just increases the chances of serious faults emerging that cost more to address.

Shop Around Garages

Different garages will charge different prices. Professional technicians or mechanics will always supply you with a quote before starting work. Shop around and look online for average fees and make a sound judgment.

Think About the Model You Buy

If you’re looking to reduce your motoring costs, choosing the right vehicle is critical. Think about how often you drive and where you drive. If you live in a city, you probably don’t need a gas-guzzling SUV; a smaller city car with suffice. Think about starting prices, mpg ratings and overall reliability.

Drive Smoothly

Driving smoothly is a sure way of saving money. Why? Because it reduces the wear and tear your vehicle will face; especially when it comes to tyres, suspensions and braking systems. Keep everything calm and fluid.

Walk, Cycle or Use Public Transport

Naturally, many of us are very much car dependent. However, there are occasions when we could probably leave our vehicles parked and rely upon alternative means of transport. Try to walk, cycle or use public transport when you can (assuming it’s more economical). It might also be worth asking your employer if you can occasionally work from home, too.

Ignore Modifications

For some of us, driving is not simply a necessity but a passion. Which is why some of us love tinkering and modifying our cars. However, you have to inform your car insurance provider of any changes by law; and they’ll almost always raise your premium. Modifications can also affect saleability. Keep things vanilla if you want to save money.

Hypermile (Safely)

Hypermiling is the art of driving in such as way as to maximise fuel efficiency. It’s spawned an entire sub-culture, and there are many websites and forums dedicated to it. Some methods are safe, others are simply dangerous. Do some research, and get the most out of your car’s tank.

Plan Your Journeys 

It can be tempting to simply follow any route our sat-navs throw at us. But this isn’t always wise. Some routes are simply better on our wallets than others. A shorter route that’s marked by different speeds, obstacles and congestion may use more fuel than a longer journey on series of roads with higher speeds limits and less traffic.

Use Parking Apps 

Parking can be extremely expensive nowadays. Which is why it’s advisable to download various parking apps, making it easier to identify cheaper spots. Some even highlight driveways that are for ‘rent’, often at far cheaper rates than car parks.

Rent Out Your Car

Our cars are parked up for around 95% of their lifespans; making them economically extremely inefficient. However, a number of apps now make it easy to rent out your vehicle to people in need of a temporary ride. It’s worth considering, as you’d essentially turn your car into something that makes money rather than something that simply burns through it.

Rent Out Your Driveway

Many drivers are now also using apps or third-parties to rent out their driveways as parking spaces. People who live in densely populated cities, or near to key infrastructure, can usually charge the highest rates.

Don’t Get Fined

Fines are such a needless source of motoring costs. Speeding alone can set you back £200 if you’re caught. In which case, understand what you can be fined for and drive sensibly.

Consider Black Boxes

Black box technology may seem invasive, but they can you significant amounts of money when it comes to car insurance. They usually monitor things like speeding, sudden movements or harsh braking. But, if you’re driving sensibly, what do you have to worry about?

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The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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