The average motorist in the UK spends around £2,000 per year (an average of £162 monthly) on his/her car running costs. This is quite a significant amount for many people, considering they have numerous other essential bills to pay. You, however, don’t have to spend so much on car running costs. Outlined below are a few tricks and tips to bring your motoring costs down.
I have compiled a list of 7 Tips To Cut Your Motoring Costs. These are things that I have learned or found out the hard way over the time I’ve been driving and are some simple ways to reduce your motoring costs and running costs.
1. Switch To Regular Fuel
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A trip to the petrol station sets you back by around £50 every month – this is if you are an economic driver. You can however bring this cost slightly lower if you avoid the more premium petrol for regular fuel. This is, of course, unless you have a performance vehicle that needs the extras that come with premium petrol. According to RAC, there’s a minimal chance to see a reduction in performance should you make the switch. Switching to regular fuel could see you save up to 10p for every liter purchased.
2. Save on your MOT
Taking care of some of the basic repairs and issues on your car, such as replacing faulty bulbs, worn-out windscreen wipers, and filling the washer fluid bottles, could see you save some money on MOT. According to data released by the MOT, more than 1.5 million vehicles in the UK fail their MOT, all from easy-to-fix issues. While calling your mechanic might help solve some of these issues and eventually pass the tests, you could save so much more if you were proactive in keeping your vehicle road-worthy and safe.
3. Cut Down on Vehicle Tax
Vehicle tax can accumulate quickly depending on the condition, age, and type of car you drive. That said, you want your road tax to be as cost-effective as possible. Vehicles registered on or after the 1st of April 2017, and on its second year on the road costs:
– £140 annually (if paid in one lump sum)
– £147 total (when paid monthly via direct debit)
– £154 if you pay the sum every six months – the amount goes back to £147 if you make two monthly payments of the same by direct debit
Older cars, especially those registered between 2001 (the 1st of March) and 2017 (the 31st of March), may attract higher tax based on their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Paying your tax in one or two lump sums may, however, see you save some money in the process. Examples of fees on vehicles on tax band D include
– £120 annually (is paid in one lump sum)
– £126 total when paid monthly by direct debit
– £132 if you pay half the amount in six months. You could save some more if you paid it in two direct debits
While it may not seem like much, these savings can accumulate to a handsome amount through the vehicle’s life. You can, however, save so much more should you choose to buy a low-emission car. Check if you are eligible for a £2000 loan to put towards a new, low emissions car.
4. Shop for Affordable Car Insurance
Comprehensive car insurance in the UK costs around £39.58 per month, translating to £475 annually. This is quite a considerable amount to pay for the average driver. Shopping around for cheaper and more affordable car insurance can help take some of the weight off your shoulders. All you need to do is identify an insurance company offering affordable insurance and make the switch as soon as the current one expires. While it might be tempting to go for third-party insurance, some companies provide comprehensive cover for almost the same price. You only need to compare quotes by different providers to identify the best one to buy from.
5. Save on Maintenance Costs
Don’t get this wrong; car servicing and maintenance are essential for smoother running and efficiency. Reducing the number of trips you make to the garage, can save you some money in the long run. This means taking on most of the simple maintenances yourself. You can therefore minimize your maintenance costs by:
– Be gentle with our car, especially in the morning when it is cold. Driving gently for some time allows it to warm up hence reducing mechanical stress.
– Scrape off the ice from the windows. Be careful when working around windscreen wipers too.
– Don’t drive over curbs. Doing so will only increase wear and tear on your tyres.
– Avoid potholes at all costs. Driving through a pothole can cause mechanical stress and damage to your vehicle, forcing you to make a trip to the mechanic. Consider driving carefully around potholes, and claim for any damage caused by the same.
6. Reduce Your Parking Charges
You might be losing lots of money in parking charges. This is particularly so if you have to buy a parking permit both at work and home. You might prune some of these charges if:
– Look out for discounted parking areas around your workplace
– Check to see if you can get reduced parking rates from the council website
– Use Parkopedia, among other apps, to find cost-effective parking spots
– Start cycling on your commute and save on parking fees
– Challenge parking tickets – there’s a 56% chance your claim will be successful. If not, paying within 14 days can see the fines reduce by half.
7. Protect Your Car’s Residue Value
Your car loses value with each passing year. There are however several ways to reduce the rate of depreciation and protect its initial value. These are:
• Go for vehicles that don’t depreciate as much. In addition to the make and model, vehicles with unrivalled fuel economy tend to retain a higher resale value than fuel guzzlers
• Choose to park at the farthest corner of the parking lot. This reduces the risk of scuffed alloys and dings
• Take proper care of its interior as well. Never leave stains unattended or leave the dashboard to bake under the sun.
The tips outlined above should help reduce your motoring costs significantly. Cars provide a certain sense of convenience and freedom that most people cannot do without. Cutting down on the expense of owning one makes it an even more valuable asset.