A car is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever have to pay for, after owning a home of course. What with insurance, road tax, servicing, MOT, tyres and fuel costs, running a car is a constant financial drain so it’s important to save money where you can. Follow the advice in our money-saving resources guide below for tips to help make driving your vehicle more affordable.
By far the most constant cost of owning a car, fuel can be really expensive, especially if you’re covering a lot of miles each day. Your car’s fuel consumption is important to consider as the larger the engine, the more fuel it will need. It’s important to shop around for the best-priced petrol and diesel before filling up. Petrol stations based at the big supermarkets tend to be cheaper, although prices do fluctuate depending on whereabouts in the country you fill up. The way you drive can also impact on your fuel costs – driving economically without braking excessively and slowing down naturally using the gears also help to reduce costs.
Tyres can be expensive to replace. It’s advised that you check your tyres about once a month and always before going on any long journeys. Remember to always have at least the legal amount of tread on all four tyres, which is 1.6 mm. Having four tyres that match is important as this means you can swap them around. It’s recommended that you swap your tyres after about 10,000 miles so the front tyres go on the back and vice versa. This helps to prolong their life as front wheel tyres tend to wear down faster. When the time does come to buy new tyres, always buy brand new. Buying part-worn tyres can seem like a cost-effective option, but they need replacing much more frequently so it is a false economy. Check out the AA’s tyre fitting service here: https://tyres.theaa.com
Shopping around for the best-priced MOT is well worth it. Carry out an online search before booking an MOT as a lot of the big firms have discount codes online which can get you one at a reduced rate. Failing this, a lot of smaller, independently-run garages tend to charge less than the major names and provide the same level of service. Usually if you need any urgent work done, a smaller garage will also charge less for repairs so it’s a great idea. Local councils also have their own test centres which tend to be cheaper and, as they don’t have mechanics at their centres, they’re much less likely to recommend any unnecessary repairs in a bid to make money.
Ensuring your car is serviced regularly is important to make sure it’s roadworthy. A lot of new cars have deals when you buy them which cover servicing for a year. This may seem expensive but, when you come to sell your car, a clean servicing history is important to new buyers and can increase the value of your car. Be careful of going to independent garages for a cheaper price as they may use parts that aren’t standard with your car and this could lower the value of your vehicle.
Car insurance is arguably one of the biggest costs for drivers. It’s now easier than ever to find the best-priced deals with so many price comparison sites like comparethemarket.com around. There are so many different factors that negate the price of your insurance that it can be tough to get yours reduced if you’ve had any claims. From the age of the driver to where your vehicle is being parked to your no claims history – there are many different aspects that determine the final price. Generally, a clean driving record with no claims, a car parked on a drive or in a garage and a driver aged over 25 make for a good price.