Owning and running a car can be really expensive and you may be wasting money every day without even realising it! Buying a car can be one of the biggest investments you make and we all like to save a little money here and there! UK Car Finance have put together a list of the best ways to save money when owning a car.
Plan your route
Not being prepared for your journey can be wasting you a serious amount of fuel! By checking traffic updates and planning your route before you set off you can save you fuel. Use a sat nav or route planner app on your smartphone to find the quickest route to your destination.
Avoid harsh braking
When you accelerate, the energy in the car builds up and harsh braking wastes that energy within seconds. In some cases, harsh braking can’t be avoided and can save your life. However, unnecessary harsh braking can waste fuel and wear of your brakes faster. Instead of speeding towards a red traffic light and then harsh braking, anticipate stopping and gently apply the brakes in advance. You may even find that by the time you get to the lights, they may have turned green and you won’t have to use as much fuel!
It’s good to be prepared for road trips with an emergency breakdown kit but you should only have the essentials in your car. The more weight there is, the harder your car has to work and ultimately uses more fuel. Have a clear out inside the car and remove any unnecessary roof racks or roof bars.
Keep your car in good condition
General maintenance of your car can save you from unexpected breakdowns and save you money. You can check your oil, fluid, tyre pressure and air filter at home and they are also easy to change yourself. You should also check your windscreen for any cracks, chips in the paintwork and that the wiper blades are intact. Many people also waste money on having their car cleaned. However, this can easily be done for free at home with little effort.
Find the cheapest fuel around
Fuel prices are always fluctuating. Your favourite supermarket or petrol station may have the cheapest price one week but not the next. There are many online sites and smartphone apps which compare the cheapest fuel around your location for both petrol and diesel so do have a shop around. I have an 80 mile round trip commute every day so even just a few pence per litre saving makes a difference to me.
Switch to eco tyres
Many people tend to opt for the cheapest tyres; however, this might not be beneficial in the long run. Cheaper tyres don’t perform as well and may need replacing more regularly. Economical tyres have low rolling resistance which means they require less energy to propel them forward. The easier it is for the tyre to roll; the less fuel is needed. Not only are economical tyres better for your pocket in the long run but they also tend to be safer too.
Shop around for car insurance
The best way to save money on your car insurance is to shop around for the best deal. Car insurance prices can be really expensive, especially if you are a young driver! There are many price comparison websites which help you find the best deals. Make sure you are comparing the same like for like quote as some may seem cheaper, but they don’t have the same level of cover as other policies. If you like the insurance provider you are currently with but aren’t happy with their renewal quote, you can inform them of the best offer you have and see if they will match it.
Know your driving laws
There’s nothing worse than being hit with an unexpected driving fine or penalty notice for something that you didn’t even know was illegal! Driving laws are typically updated each year but they can introduce new ones at any time. New laws introduced in 2019 include a 1.5 metre minimum gap between cars and cyclists, three categories for MOT testing and learner drivers using motorways.
Spread the cost with car finance
Many drivers don’t have the savings to buy the car they want outright and that’s why over 86% of cars in the UK are bought on some sort of credit – we had two pretty old cars and saved to replace one of them with our Mokka without the need for car finance but my Fiat 500 is partially financed as we needed to replace our second car before we had the chance to save up to pay for it in full. Car finance helps you spread the cost of owning a car into affordable monthly payments and you can even check your eligibility using an online car finance checker even before you apply! I used something similar before we went car shopping so I knew how much we could afford to go up to.
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