Car ownership can be a drain on your finances so it makes sense to save money wherever possible.
According to automotive data experts HPI* the cost of motoring has leapt by more than 10% in the last year. Researchers looked at a range of factors including a rise in fuel costs, depreciation of vehicles and the price of repairs.
In another study by Consumer Intelligence**, 34% of car owners say they have already cut back on driving - a figure which rises to 42% of London drivers.
20 money-saving tips
- Carry out simple MOT checks before heading off for the test. Faulty lamps and reflectors top the list of MOT failures - simple things that can be checked and fixed at home. Bald tyres, damaged windscreens, ineffective wipes and illegible registration plates are also common reasons for MOT fails.
- Fuel is one of the biggest motoring expenses, but simply adjusting your driving style can save you money. Find out How driving smart can save you money
- If your key fob is broken (the electrical contacts on the buttons can wear out when they get older), a dealer will charge you £150+. If you can't get a cheaper replacement at high street key cutters Timpson, then get a quote from a mobile auto locksmith which is likely to be 50% or more less.
- Avoid fines! Driving within the allocated speed limit makes sense. For instance, if you're caught driving at 29mph in a 20mph zone you'll face a fine of £100, plus three penalty points which will increase your insurance premium.
- According to a 2016 survey by money-saving brand, Vouchercloud, two-thirds of British drivers have ignored warning signs that something isn’t quite right with their car at least once, with the majority finding their garage bills increase by up to £500 because of this “head-in-the-sand-attitude”. Next time there’s a warning light or odd sound in your car, get it checked out ASAP.
- Whether it's insurance, breakdown cover, fuel, tyres or servicing you can Cut car costs by shopping around
- Using a service station car wash can cost around £5, while a hand wash/valet will be double or more of that. Think how much money you could save every year by washing your car yourself...
- Cut the cost of your motor insurance by trimming off any extras you don’t need. For instance, you can cap your annual mileage to as low as 6,000 miles and why pay for ‘free car hire’ while your car is being fixed, if you don’t need it?
- Many petrol stations sell premium unleaded petrol which is some 10p per litre more expensive than regular fuel and makes little or no performance difference to most standard cars. Check the labelling on the pump - ordinary unleaded is 95 RON, while super unleaded is 98 RON.
- If your central looking stops working, it's probably the battery in your key fob. Before going to a dealer or calling a mobile auto locksmith, look up your key on Google/YouTube and see if you can change the battery (many are available in pound shops) yourself. If not, next try your local key cutter (or a chain like Timpson), or an auto locksmith.
- Tyres are one of the most overlooked elements of your car, yet vital for safety, fuel economy and handling. If you need new tyres, shop around...
- Just moved home? Ensure that your driving licence information remains up to date. Drivers with incorrect information or expired licences could face up to £1,000 worth of fines.
- Scrimping on servicing is a false economy. Not only is a badly-maintained car less efficient, but it also increases the likelihood of an expensive breakdown. Find out How to keep your car running at peak performance...
- There are various ways to lower your motor insurance premium. For instance, add a second driver, increase your excess (the amount you contribute in the event of a claim) and if you drive an old banger that’s not worth much, try third party cover instead of a comprehensive policy.
- Is your journey really necessary? Could you walk or cycle instead? Could you car share? Just a couple of questions you should ask yourself before hopping into your car...
- Don't pay over the odds for car parking. Parkopedia scans a database of thousands of car parks and metered parking to give you all the options for the postcode you are visiting. It even lists free parking and how long can you stay at each location. Always shop around…
- Talk to your employer about working from home at least one day a week. Depending on your commute, this could save your £100+ a year in fuel.
- If your car is being repaired and the quote issued to you by a garage for repairs sounds too steep, ask them if you can source the parts yourself. It only takes a quick search on Google or eBay...
- Your local council’s MOT centre can also test your car. It doesn’t repair vehicles so there’s no vested interest in failing your car if there is nothing wrong with it.
- Losing keys can be a costly mistake, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Buying a new key from a dealer will be the most expensive option (as much as £150-300 if it controls the remote locking, alarm/immobiliser), so try getting a spare on the high street from a key cutter like Timpson, or call a mobile auto locksmith.
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