We all know how expensive it can be to run a car, as well as to maintain. With so many costs to take into consideration (not least the MOT costs, fuel, parking and insurance fees) it can end up being the case that the cost of maintaining can be far higher than the upfront cost of a vehicle. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways you can save money having a car. Here at All The Lenders, we have put together a guide to help you cut down on costs.
It isn’t necessarily the case that every single repair must be carried out professionally. When it comes to small repairs like batteries, for example, you can quite easily sort this out yourself, at a much lower cost, in fact, you could end up saving thousands over the cars lifetime, by simply researching online. Nevertheless, never carry out work that is too complicated and that you do not feel comfortable in doing. Compromising on the safety of you and other people in your vehicle is not worth the money you could save in this scenario.
Remove unnecessary items from the boot
Where you aware that for every 50kg that is in the boot of your car, it increases the fuel usage of the vehicle by 2%, reducing fuel efficiency? Whilst this may not sound like a considerable amount, over time, this can seriously add up money wise. An easy way then, to save on car costs is to get rid of any unnecessary items from the boot (such as bikes, golf clubs, and so forth) to lessen the load.
It goes without saying that you should always be driving safely to ensure that you aren’t putting your health and others at risk, but it will also end up costing you far more money. This is because speeding is one of the biggest contributing factors to fuel wastage. Whilst the exact amount of fuel wastage you will encounter will depend on the make of the car, you can expect on average for gas mileage to start decreasing once you start driving over a speed of over 60 miles per hour. Furthermore, if you get caught speeding, then you also have to factor in the costs of a fine. To save money, allow for cruise control, and try to avoid sudden breaking as this can also deplete your gas mileage.
Having a named driver
Another way to reduce your costs, particularly when it comes down to your car insurance is to have a named driver. If you have a more experienced driver on your policy, it can help you to make considerable savings overall.
Clean your own car
Deciding to clean your vehicle by yourself is far cheaper than getting it done professionally. The average driver in the UK spends around £20 to £30 each and every month taking their car to a drive wash, and that isn’t taking into account the costs for fuel getting to and from there. Buying your own cleaning products can be radically cheaper, and last you for far longer, and you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on them either. You could make effective cleaning products from using a mixture of ingredients such as bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and biodegradable detergent. You will also need to apply wax to the bodywork, in order to protect the motor, but other than these things you can still keep your car in good condition at a fraction of the cost.
Avoid using the air con
Whenever possible, you should try to not rely heavily on using air conditioning in your car to cut down on your costs. This is because rather surprisingly, having air con on can use 25% more fuel. Instead, choose to open the window or open your air vents.
Shop around for car insurance
Many people could save hundreds on their car insurance each year simply by shopping around for car insurance to find the best rates. In fact, it has been reported that the average driver in the UK could save at least £200 each! Checking on comparison websites is the best place to start, as you can easily view deals from a number of different providers all at once, making the task of choosing the best insurance deal far less overwhelming and stressful.
However, there are some things to consider when picking a new car insurance policy:
- Remember to only opt for a policy that actually best fits your needs. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the cheapest car insurance policy you find is the best one for you. This is because it may only provide a very limited amount of cover that doesn’t fit your personal circumstances (for example, you may rely very heavily on your car and live in a densely populated, urban area), which could mean you lose money in the long run if something bad was to happen, due to the lack of coverage in the policy. This is why you should thoroughly check the terms and conditions of each policy to make sure it caters to your needs.
- Related to the above point, it is worth looking at car insurance comparison tools that look at specific aspects of a policy, such as the cost of excess and legal protection
- Not all car insurance companies are advertised on the price comparison websites, and they may potentially offer a better deal. As a result, to get a more rounded perspective on the deals that are available, it could be worth contacting these providers (such as Direct Line, Zurich and Aviva) directly in order to find out what they are offering.