The cost of motoring keeps rising these days, with the price of petrol constantly creeping upwards, while insurance premiums stretch closer to the incredible at every renewal. However, a frugally minded motorist can save themselves some motoring money with these ten tips for forward thinking and light-footed driving.
Plan your route
We don’t just mean taking the road of least-traffic-resistance for your journey, but to plan out how you’ll use your car in the coming years.
Cars are major investments for most of us and planning can save you money. Calculate how many miles you think you’ll cover every year and buy the right car to cover the distance.
If you’re going to cover over 10,000 miles per year then a new or newly new diesel car – perhaps via a PCP car financing scheme – would make a lot of sense. The latest diesel engines are by far the most economical and a new or nearly new car will cost you less in servicing over the long run.
However, if lower mileages will be on your odometer over the year, then an older, higher mileage car could suit you. Sure, they will probably need more servicing attention than a new car, and there will be the yearly MOT, but if you’re only driving 2,000 miles a year the car is getting less wear and tear.
Get the right spec
When considering a new vehicle, it is essential to thoroughly research various aspects such as engine, performance, mileage, and comfort. Additionally, giving importance to the build quality of the car is crucial, as it plays a vital role in minimizing passenger harm during accidents.
An excellent illustration of a car that excels in these areas is the Honda Civic. This reliable civic car not only boasts impressive features but also showcases a sturdy frame and advanced safety systems including airbags, brake assist, and lane-keeping assist. Likewise, there are other cars such as the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra that often provide similar features and performance.
Drive the savings
Regardless of the car you own, if you put a focus on your eco-driving skills you can really shave some big chunks off your fuel bill.
Accelerate gently and only brake when your anticipation of the road conditions ahead tells you to, and you’ll start saving fuel right away. Use your car’s in-dash mpg readout as an eco-drill-sergeant who must be beaten on every journey!
Save on service
Get your green ‘n’ serene eco-driving skills sharpened and you should see longer term savings on servicing, as well as fuel. Braking less, accelerating gently and generally driving your car in a more conservative manner will wear out your brakes and tyres less, meaning fewer replacements.
The vast majority of car insurance quotes are obtained through price comparison websites these days, and if you’re not online come insurance time, you could pay the (higher) price.
Even if your car is rare, specialist or high-performance, make sure you run the details through a multi-insurer comparison site to check for value coverage.
Only insure what you need
Consider your car’s use and cover that risk only. If you plan to travel 2,000 miles in a year, will never use your car to commute to work, and always park it in a high-security garage, make sure your insurer knows, as lower risks attract lower premiums.
Keep it clean
It might sound obvious, but neglect your car all winter with no washing, waxing, or putting on the car cover and come summer when you want to spruce it up in the sun, you would find the paint is dull and the wheels are flaking. You’ve just wiped a huge chunk of value off your car.
Therefore, keeping your car clean can help reduce running costs. Maintaining a clean exterior and interior can prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and corrosive substances, which can damage the paintwork and other surfaces over time. Regular washing and detailing help preserve the car’s finish and prevent costly repairs. Similarly, applying a ceramic coating can effectively prevent paint fading. Keep in mind that a clean car is more aerodynamic, which can improve fuel efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. When debris is removed from the body, the car moves more smoothly through the air.
Service with a smile
Beauty is only skin deep and gleaming paintwork only tells half the maintenance story. A car with plenty of relevant service history will sell much quicker than a car with no receipts and a shady past.
Also, a car that’s low on oil, has dull sparkplugs and sludge in the radiator will use more fuel for every revolution of the engine, costing you more per mile. Too flat tyres will also sap fuel economy.