Running a car is something we tend to see as essential, and it also tends to be a very expensive thing to own. Road tax, insurance, the cost of maintenance, MOT, fuel, it really does all add up and take a large chunk of money every month. There is also the cost of buying the vehicle and replacing it should something go wrong, which often means finance payments on top of all the other items. But before you despair and grudgingly accept the escalating cost have a read and see if there are some things you can do to bring down the cost of motoring.
What is the Need?
This isn’t meant to sound trite, but do you actually need a car? Depending on your location and lifestyle you might indeed find that public transport can save you a lot of money, and you will be doing your bit for the environment. Before you decide, try a week of leaving the car at home and seeing how you manage, if it goes well extend the trial for a few more weeks, and many consider selling the car.
Shop Around for Insurance
A lot of work can be done for you when it comes to finding the best deal on your car insurance. There are loads of comparison websites that do all the leg work, you simply enter your details once, and the systems pops off and returns a range of quotes that highlight what a massive difference in pricing there is. If you add in things like breakdown cover you might well find you can save money, but again compare. Get separate insurance and breakdown quotes and see if you are really saving money. You can also adjust the amount of voluntary excess you pay to bring down the cost as well.
Save Money on the Car
A smaller engine vehicle will typically be cheaper, full stop. That is cheaper to run, cheaper to insure and less expensive to tax. Bigger ‘gas guzzlers’ will be more expensive all around, and while you might be aesthetically drawn towards something larger, you should consider whether you need it. If it is just you commuting to work daily, and you have established public transport is not an option, a smaller car will save you money.
Maintain Your Car
You may not realise this, but under-inflated tyres can add to the cost of motoring. This is because the car works harder to run and is effectively heavier when running on under-inflated tyres. This is also true of things we might keep in the boot, the heavier the car, the more it costs to run, so take things that are not needed out of the boot and do not use it as an extra storage space.
Fuel with Care
Finally, consider your fuel, supermarkets tend to have purchasing power and can offer fuel cheaper than small independent garages. You can also find promotions for a few pence off a litre so be sure to take advantage of these. Avoid premium fuels; they really will not help unless you have a high-performance sports car.