Every driver knows how the costs of having a car can mount up. Even outside of buying, financing or leasing a vehicle itself, monthly costs can very quickly add up. These include insurance, petrol and tax, whilst regular maintenance costs like MOTs, tyre maintenance and additional unforeseen expenses can make driving an expensive way to travel.
There are so many benefits to having a car, it’s a shame to be held back by cost. We’re here to provide some advice on car money saving tips, from how to save money on maintenance to learning to drive economically, so you can use the roads for less.
Believe it or not, if you add a named driver to your insurance quote, there’s a chance you’ll see a reduction in your insurance premium. This works by balancing the risk between two or more drivers, which can mitigate the risk for the insurer and result in a cheaper quote. Be careful though, you should be the main driver and additional drivers should only be added if they drive the car occasionally.
It is illegal for the person who is listed as an additional driver to use the car more than the main policy holder. This is known as ‘fronting’ and may invalidate your policy.
You should also be aware that adding a young or inexperienced driver to your insurance could increase your premium instead. Do some research and see how named drivers affect your quotes.
Car insurance can be expensive, so there’s not much sense in immediately buying the first quote you receive without checking out the competition. There are lots of insurance comparison websites online and you can even use several comparison websites to get a broader view of the market. In order to get the best quote, be prepared to shop around. There are also a number of insurers who aren’t on comparison websites and specialist insurers for things like modified cars, so you should also check with insurers direct rather than relying solely on comparison sites.
Black box insurance, also referred to as telematics insurance, can be a good option for inexperienced or young drivers to reduce their premiums. Installed by the insurer, a black box can track things such as your speed and braking to ensure that you are driving safely and some even include night-time curfews. Allowing your insurer to gather this data can help prove to them that you’re a safe driver and you might see a subsequent reduction in your monthly insurance cost when you renew.
Tyres have an EU tyre label that rates the tyres between A and G (with A being the best) dependant on their performance and the higher up the scale you go, the better tyre performance you should receive. Whilst buying cheap tyres can be tempting if it means that the initial outlay is a lot less, in the long run, it may work out more expensive.
You may find that buying more expensive tyres will increase your fuel economy, therefore making them cheaper over the long term. They could also help to make you a safer driver by decreasing your stopping distance and having a positive effect on handling.
Maintaining the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle is really important. Incorrect tyre pressure can result in difficult handling, increased stopping distance and poor fuel economy. Tyre pressure that is higher than recommended can reduce the grip that a tyre has on the road, whilst lower than recommended pressure can result in increased friction - meaning you’ll need to use more fuel to travel the same distance.
You should always ease your car into driving, instead of hopping straight onto a motorway for a long-distance drive, so that the engine has time to warm up. This can help to prevent excessive wear and of course, it gives you time to warm up as a driver too - so it’s a win-win situation.
One of the biggest secrets to increasing fuel economy is to drive in the highest gear possible for the speed you’re travelling. You should also be proactive with gearing up and shift into a higher gear at the lowest revs you can if it’s safe to do so. This will make sure that the engine is doing as little work as possible, conserving fuel.
You can easily adapt your driving style to preserve fuel by staying aware of your momentum and avoiding needing to brake and accelerate harshly. Anticipate what’s ahead of you and drive your car accordingly such as backing off the accelerator and allowing yourself to safely roll up to upcoming red lights to avoid burning unnecessary fuel.
The price of fuel can vary massively from one petrol station to another. Find one near you that seems to have good prices relative to the rest. Supermarkets are usually good for this and stick to it to save pennies on every litre.
It’s a commonly held opinion that, when you’re at the pump, there’s really no need to use the premium petrol option. Research has shown that in most cars that aren’t built for extreme performance, it won’t make a difference. As long as you don’t drive a performance vehicle, it could be cheaper to fill your car with standard fuel to save money.
Lightening your cars load will contribute to good fuel economy. If you use your boot for storage, you may want to consider whether you really need to take all that extra clutter with you on your long-distance journey. Additionally, if you have anything adding additional weight, such as an unused roof rack, you should remove it when it’s not in use as it will add weight and make your car less aerodynamic.
Parking can be expensive, especially in city centres, but more often than not there’s free on-street parking nearby. Ask your friends and family if they know of any cheap parking spots around your destination or do your research online ahead of time to avoid paying extortionate parking costs.
If you feel like you’ve been unfairly caught out by a parking ticket, you are well within your right to appeal it. When you first notice a parking ticket, take a photograph of your car where it is parked and the street around it, especially if there isn’t adequate signage. Then write a letter in a balanced way to see if the ticket can be overturned.
You won’t be able to overturn a parking ticket you deserved to receive though, so make sure you pay before the deadline to avoid an increased fine if you were in the wrong.
Especially in older cars, small mechanical problems can escalate if left unaddressed. Regular servicing of your car at a trusted garage will help you to stay on top of your car’s maintenance in the run up to its MOT. This means that whenever it’s time for your full MOT, you’re likely to have a higher chance of the car passing first time - saving you money in the future.
Today, there are price comparison sites for everything. There are even multiple sites that let you compare car MOT and service deals close to you. Make the most of them to save on cash all year round.
Did you know that your car could fail its MOT if it’s not clean enough? That’s right - if your registration plate can’t be easily read through layers of dirt, you could fail. Before an MOT, give your car a clean-up at home rather than taking it to a car wash. Although it’s a small outgoing, by doing these little things yourself you could end up saving a lot in the long term.
Sometimes dealers or garages charge a significant mark-up on new car parts - but if you buy them from a reliable online source and use a trusted local garage to fit them, you could save hundreds of pounds off your original quote.
Not so much a money saving tip and more a money recuperating one - consider what the best thing to do with your car when you’re upgrading to a new model is. You can get your car valued to determine what the market rate is and use webuyanycar.com to sell your car in under an hour at one of our 325+ UK branches.