Looking for ways to cut your motoring costs? Here are 13 effective tips, potentially resulting in savings of hundreds of pounds.
1. Buy high quality tyres
Opting for cheaper tyres can save you money in the short term, but over the long term they will probably need to be replaced sooner than if you invested in some better quality tyres. Look for the EU tyre label - which indicates how efficiently the tyre is. As with fridges and other appliances, an 'A' rating is most efficient.
Today's cars regulate the starting procedure, so there is no need to waste fuel by pressing the accelerator when you start the engine.
If you push your car too hard when it's cold, you’ll waste fuel. Cars are simply less efficient in colder temperatures. Also note that modern cars do not require you to warm up the engine anymore. If you like having a warm cabin, consider investing in heated seats.
There are a number of cashback card options that give you money back on your fuel. Tesco and American Express are among the brands offering such cards. While 5% cashback might seem modest, it can soon add up. For example, if you spend £750 on fuel each year, on a 5% cash back card you'll receive back £37.50 over the year.
A study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that US motorists were wasting more than $2.1 billion annually on premium or diesel fuel in vehicles designed to run on standard fuel. Here in the UK, paying up to 10p extra per litre for premium fuel is likely to be a waste of money unless you're driving a Ferrari, and even then you might not notice the difference!
under-inflated tyres force your car to use more fuel to cover the same ground. Being under-inflated by just 15psi could result in additional fuel use of 6%. In other words, under inflated tyres reduce your car's MPG figure - perhaps costing you as much as £65 extra each year. You can check your tyre pressure at a garage or fuel station - or you can buy your own electric checker/pump.
Use the Internet to hunt down the cheapest fuel prices in your area. It's a false economy to drive out of your way to save a few pence, but there might be a cheaper fuel pump closer than you think. While you may only save a few pennies on each litre, it will add up over the year.
For example, filling up a 65 litre car at £1.21 per litre, as opposed to £1.24 per litre, will result in a saving of £1.95 per fill up. If you fill up twice a month at the cheaper price, you’ll save £46.80 over a year.
Learn how to drive more economically with an advanced driving course. As well as saving you money on fuel (also known as hypermiling), your motor insurer may reduce your premium if you pass.
Don't simply accept the automatic renewal quote form your current insurer. Contact them and try to haggle the price down. You might pay less if you agree to buy 'black box' insurance, or if you store your car in a garage instead of on the road.
Apps like Parkopedia help you identify the cheapest car parks in your area. This could save you big over the course of a year: don't just choose the nearest car park!
It's cheaper to pay your VED annually compared to six-monthly or monthly. It's only a few pounds of savings, but every little helps.
As a rule of thumb, each 50kg increases fuel consumption by 2%. Removing all that extra junk could lead to big savings over the year.
And if you're driving around with a roof rack that's not in use, consider detaching it. Alongside the weight, the drag will increase fuel consumption.
Spending £5 every two weeks on a car wash results in an annual cost of £120. Eliminate this cost by washing your own car. As well as the pleasure of physical work, it will give you the chance to inspect the condition of your car and pick up issues before they become serious.