According to a survey, the average driver spends £189,000 on motoring-related expenses in his or her lifetime, which is more than the price tag of a house. These expenses include the cost of the car, fuel, insurance, MOT tests, service fees, and tax. Add to that the cost of parking and other fines, driving lessons, driving and theory tests, and car accessories and you can see why it’s an expensive drain on our finances.
Does that sound a bit depressing? Cheer up, as we’ve got some nifty tips on how you can save on cash on your car…
Keep it light. Unload your boot (and your backseat!) of unnecessary items that weigh down your car. The extra weight reduces a car’s mileage by making the engine consume more fuel because it has to work twice as hard to move.
Avoid drag. It’s also helpful to remove bike racks or top racks that can create drag, which can make your engine work harder to move the car, especially at high speeds. If you don’t need the rack, remove it before setting out.
Use cruise control. If you’re traveling over long distances, maintain a steady speed and avoid wasting fuel by switching to cruise control.
Smooth operator. Avoid accelerating or slowing down too quickly when you drive, as this consumes a lot of fuel. Keep it smooth and you’ll save plenty of cash. Think to yourself that every tap of the accelerator involves spending money.
Check your tyres. It’s important to keep your tyres well-inflated to make sure you get better mileage – low pressure causes you to use more fuel as you drive and also reduces safety and grip.
Move to the shade. Parking your car in a covered or shadowed area can reduce the evaporation of fuel from your tank. It also makes it cooler inside the car, so you’ll need less air conditioning to cool the car when you step in.
Turn the engine off. If you will be idling in a traffic queue for more than 30 seconds, turn off your engine to avoid wasting fuel.
Save as you learn. Learning to drive isn’t cheap but there are ways to save cash along the line. Take advantage, for example, of the free online resources at your fingertips to help learn the rules of the road and practice for your driving theory test.
Drive safer. When it comes to insurance, you’ll be able to save a lot if you have a clean driving record. Insurance companies also look positively at drivers who have taken a defensive driving course and those who have vehicles that are equipped with safety features such as automatic seatbelts, antilock brakes, or an alarm system.
Shop around for insurance. You can take advantage of a variety of car insurance schemes, especially if you opt for black box insurance. Do your research and shop around for the best deals by using price comparison sites – never simply accept your renewal quote without question.