With the constant rise in prices at the pump, it’s time to start looking at ways of conserving your fuel and getting the most out of your car. Running a vehicle can be very expensive unless you look around for the best deals.
Start by looking at the type of car you have, does it meet all your requirements – do you need a 7 seater when there is only two of you, do you need a high performance car when you only do short around town driving? Could you benefit from a smaller car or smaller engine size? High-powered cars might be head turners and something you’ve dreamt of owning but nowadays they cost a fortune to run. Buy the wrong vehicle and you might find yourself owning it for a short period of time and losing money or not enjoy using it as much as you thought you would because you can no longer afford to fill it up! Then there are the different fuel options – petrol, diesel, LPG or one of the Hybrid cars which are becoming popular.
Insurance premiums continue to rise and although staying with the same car insurance company is the easy thing to do doing a bit of research can, in some cases, save you £100’s a year. Take a look at the comparison websites around including Money Saving Expert, Go Compare, Confused.com and others. By taking 5 minutes to enter your details you could save on your insurance. Consider how much you could afford to pay as an “Excess” in the event of a claim as a higher excess payment could reduce your annual premium.
Changing the way you use your car can also save you money. Keep the revs low and avoid sudden breaking or acceleration as these actions just drink fuel. Try using the gears more for acceleration and slowing down, and keep to the speed limits. Don’t have your heating or air conditioning on all the time – go back to opening your window for local town driving. Remove roof boxes when they aren’t needed and have an empty boot – extra weight creates additional drag, which increases fuel consumption.
Looking after your car can be costly but if you shop around you can get good deals. Many tyre companies offer price matching. Going to main dealer for servicing can be costly. Whilst it may be nice to say you’ve only had dealership servicing when you sell your car, this actually adds only a couple of hundred pounds to the value of your car. Search your local area as plenty of smaller companies offer inclusive rates and special offers on servicing or replacement tyres. If you build up a good relationship with your mechanic you might be able to get the odd bits done at a fraction of the cost.
If you commute to work by car is there someone you could car share with, thereby splitting the cost of fuel, wear and tear and parking? When the weather’s nice, why not walk? A blast of fresh air and some exercise will benefit you, and keep your fuel bill down! Like most things, doing a bit of research can save you money in places you never thought possible!