Whether you drive for necessity or pleasure the cost of driving isn’t cheap.
In fact, the price of motoring is increasing year on year and motorists are feeling the hike.
The good news is there are steps you can take to help reduce the cost of owning and using a vehicle.
You might not be able to eradicate the cost completely but follow as many of these steps as you can and you will be sure to keep the cost down.
Buy the right car
When buying a car think about the reason you need that car. Do you need a large family car to fit three kids and the dog? Are you driving around towns and cities or long stretches of the highway? If you are a single city-dwelling driver a large 3litre SUV isn’t necessary. Instead, a mini compact vehicle with a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine will be much more beneficial. You will reduce the price of the vehicle, the cost of fuel, and insurance. Alternatively, if you are driving long distances regularly the smaller city cars will not be the most fuel or cost-efficient vehicle choice, or the most comfortable drive. If you need your vehicle for offroading be sure to invest in a vehicle that can handle the requirements and pressures off-roading can place on a vehicle. It will only cost you in the long run if you don’t. Also, don’t forget to consider whether an electric or hybrid vehicle will suit your needs.
Don’t always upsize or replace
If you find you are needing more space or a bigger vehicle, upsizing isn’t always the answer. With larger cars comes a larger expense. Instead of spending on a new car consider whether vehicle accessories will do the job? Will you benefit from a roof box or roof racks, for example? Or perhaps you need your vehicle for slightly different reasons; Perhaps you need to tow a load or go offroad. Again it may be that accessorizing your vehicle is more cost-effective than replacing it. To get an idea of how you can accessorize your vehicle click here.
Watch how you drive
You can reduce your day-to-day cost of motoring by employing some mindful driving techniques. Consider undertaking advanced driving courses; These may help lower your insurance premiums and upskill your driving, which will help reduce your risk of accidents. The potential injuries of an accident aside, accidents ultimately cost money and will increase your insurance premiums. Further, the more skilled your driving techniques the more efficiently you are likely to drive and less wear and tear you will impose on your vehicle. For example, tires may last longer if you take it easier on the gas pedal and the brakes. Reducing your speed will also reduce your fuel costs. Another top tip is to unload anything in your vehicle that you don’t need. Still carrying around those golf clubs? Take them out. Excess weight will use excess fuel and cost you unnecessarily. Don’t forget all these tips work irrespective of the fuel type, electric cars included. Simple skills and mindful driving can save you thousands over the years.
Think about how you use the car
How often do you use your car? Is it daily and do you really need to? Perhaps you could set up a carpool to work or on the school run? Instead of doing lots of different errands daily can you save them up and do them once a week? Is the car really the best way of getting where you need to go? Research the alternatives and the associated costs, can you cycle to work? Use public transport? You may find the alternatives are actually a more cost-effective way of travelling.
Shop around for insurance
Car insurance premiums can be a huge part of a motorist’s expense. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal possible and don’t let your policy auto-renew. After all, a lot of insurers save their best deals for new customers. Use comparison sites to see what is available and don’t be afraid to switch providers to get a lower-priced policy. Or simply do some research and advise your current insurers of the better deals available. When it’s time to renew, more often than not, insurers don’t want to lose custom and where they can they will match the better price you have found.
A top tip to keep the cost of insurance down is to keep an eye on the added extras involved in the policy. Do you really need them? Perhaps you have those extras on a different policy. Don’t pay for something you don’t need.
Ensure you adequately maintain your vehicle. Have your car regularly serviced and make sure you undertake any recommendations, don’t wait for things to break to upgrade them. Breaking down will cost you money and allowing elements of a car to deteriorate could affect other components of the vehicle that will then need to be fixed or replaced. By not maintaining all the components of a vehicle when they need it, it could result in a costly repair bill. Not to mention the unexpected expenses breaking down incurs.
Another way you can maintain your car is by keeping a check on your tires. If they are over or underinflated it will cause them to wear unevenly. This in turn may cause compromised vehicle handling or the need to replace tires prematurely. So be sure to keep your eye on the tire pressure.
Washing your car and other added luxuries
Hands up if you are guilty of taking your car to be washed or valeted? Think how much you might spend on this added luxury weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. When you calculate this cost over the year, washing your car yourself you could save in excess of £$130 a year, minimum.
While on the subject of luxuries did you know that the use of air-con increases fuel consumption? Can you open the window instead? What about using that heated seat, heating steering wheel function, or massage seat? While these features are a great premium they too will increase fuel consumption. Do you really need your seat heated or back massaged for the whole journey? Limit the time you use these added extras and it will save you money in the long run.
(Disclaimer: This content is a partnered post. This material is provided as news and general information. It should not be construed as an endorsement of any investment service. The opinions expressed are the personal views and experience of the author, and no recommendation is made.)