Driving down the cost of running a car
With petrol prices on an ever-rising trajectory and insurance reaching astronomical levels for some groups, running a car can be a huge financial burden. In fact, the up-front costs of buying a car are now usually the least of your concerns – you can browse the internet for all sorts of deals from dealers like Evans Halshaw used cars – it’s really the day-to-day running costs that will eat into your wallet.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the cost of car ownership, and often they’re just down to making small changes to your driving and buying behaviour. This guide sets out some of the tried-and-tested ways to get more out of your motor – try them all and see how much you could save.
1. Compare petrol prices
Finding the best local petrol prices can shave hundreds of pounds from your annual fuel bill. As prices are constantly changing, use a site like petrolprices.com to find which outlets are offering the cheapest prices. Going that little bit further rather than opting for the closest garage every time really adds up.
2. Get more miles per gallon
Getting cheaper fuel is great, and the savings go up even more when you’re getting the most out of it. Check your tyres regularly to make sure they are pumped up to the correct level, which can improve fuel economy by five per cent, and try to accelerate and brake smoothly and steadily. Reducing your speed from 70mph to 60mph on the motorways can save nearly ten per cent on fuel. Reducing the weight you’re travelling with by removing unnecessary items will also have a big impact on efficiency.
3. Get the best insurance deal
If you’re in certain age and risk groups – particularly newly-qualified young drivers – it can really feel like the odds are stacked against you. However, there are many ways you can reduce your premiums – drive less to qualify for low-mileage discounts, take an advanced driving course to prove you are a lower-risk customer, and pay a lump sum if you can rather than direct debit. If you still can’t find affordable cover, consider raising your excess – in many cases, claiming for smaller repairs will invalidate your no-claims bonus, so you may not need a low excess at all.
4. Go electric
One way to avoid high petrol prices is to cut out the petrol completely! Electric cars and charging infrastructure are still uncommon in the UK, but as carmakers produce new and more efficient models, going electric will become an increasingly viable alternative to fossil-powered vehicles in future.
5. Shop around when servicing
The cost of servicing a car can be high, so always get a quote from three or four garages before you have any repair work done. Developing a good relationship with a local garage may also lead to discounts in the future.