10 ways to save money on your car
TIP 1 - PUMP UP YOUR TYRES
To maximise your fuel usage make sure your tyres are pumped up (when your tyres are a little light, your vehicle has to use more fuel and energy to keep the car going.
Having your tyres checked and pumped up regularly is good practice anyway, since you can avoid the risk of future accidents and incurring any costs involved with car repairs.
TIP 2 - EMPTY THE BOOT
Having a full boot your vehicle requires you to use more fuel when you drive. The same applies for using a roof rack which when empty adds 30kg to your vehicle and is like carrying a child passenger on board.
Using your boot for trips and holidays can be useful, but when you are driving day to day it could be worth emptying it to save on fuel.
TIP 3 - USE LESS AIR CONDITIONING
Using your air con requires 3% to 10% more fuel. So use in summer months but in cool spring and autumn days it will be a lot more fuel efficient to simply lower your windows and let the cool breeze in.
TIP 4 - DRIVE GENTLY IN COLD WEATHER
During the cold weather and the British summer your car has to use a lot more fuel and power to warm up, accelerate and brake. So when you are driving in the snow or freezing weather, you are best to drive a little slower and gently warm up the car, rather than trying to use lots of fuel to warm up the car very quickly.
TIP 5 - CONSIDER LEASING RATHER THAN BUYING
Buying a car gives you ownership, but unless you have a lot of cash lying around you're looking at significant interest on the loan option you take out. Leasing on the other hand gives you flexibility and comes with lower costs, you have a fixed monthly payment, get to drive a brand new car every few years, worry free maintenance as most new cars come with a 3 year warranty and no resale worries. In addition to this, if you take out a business lease there are potential tax deductions e.g. reclaim of VAT.
TIP 6 - SEEK CHEAP FUEL
Fuel prices will vary at each petrol station and doing some research and finding the lowest price petrol stations can make a difference over time.
TIP 7 - GET CASHBACK ON YOUR FUEL
Some credit cards and debit cards offer cashback of up to 5% when you buy fuel, including Tesco and American Express.
TIP 8 - NEGOTIATE ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE
Your car insurance is always going to be a substantial cost, however you should always negotiate with your car insurer and try and find the best deal - since most insurers are happy to have the business and negotiate the terms.
To start use price comparison websites or try to join any existing policies that your family have. Adding yourself to a multi car or family fleet policy is usually cheaper because the insurer is happy to get extra customers on board.
Always negotiate upon renewal. If you have not made a claim in the last year, you should be eligible for a no claims discount and this will be even higher (up to 60%) if you have avoided making a claim for 5 years or longer.
Any other ways that you can demonstrate to your insurer that you are a low risk to insure would be welcomed with a lower premium.
TIP 9 - ADD A MORE EXPERIENCED DRIVER TO YOUR INSURANCE
Adding a more experienced or 'named driver' to your vehicle can help reduce the cost, especially if they are aged between 50-60 years old. The average UK motorist drives around 7,600 miles according to the RAC and surprisingly a lot of drivers will just guess this figure when they apply for insurance.
However, the rule of thumb is that the more mileage you do, the greater the risk you are of having an accident and making a claim. So the higher the expected mileage, the more you pay.
With this in mind, it is worth tracking the mileage you do if it is lower than expected, you could make quite a saving each year.
TIP 10 - GET A BLACK BOX
A black box is a small device, the size of a smart phone, this is installed in your car. It uses GPS to monitor the quality of your driving including your speed, acceleration, turning, braking, times of driving and of course, your mileage.
The information is fed back to the car insurer to provide a better indication of the quality of your driving - and if this can prove that you are slower, more careful driver and doing less mileage than expected, you can receive a noticeable discount on your insurance.
Popular for young drivers, black box's are known to decrease annual car insurance premiums by up to 20% per year.