Everyone likes to save money. When it comes to motoring, there’s some really easy ways to save. Using common sense, changing small habits and not being lazy when you buy your car are all crucial. Here’s our top tips to help save you cash when you’re out and about:
1) Drive economically
Take it easy on the throttle, change up before you hit the high revs and try to read the road ahead - economical driving is all about driving smoothly. The most effective way to optimise your driving, however, is simply to slow down. Unfortunate, but true.
2) Pick an economical car
This is becoming easier all the time. You no longer have to compromise on your preferences when buying efficiently. These days most cars are built specifically to be kind to your wallet as well as the planet. This not only helps you save on fuel, but also on road tax, London Congestion Charge and insurance premiums.
3) Beat the insurers
Shopping around and going for a basic cover is the easiest ways to save on your insurance premiums. There are a few other tricks through. Why not try adding a safe driver to your cover, increase your excess to save on your premiums, or use a ‘black box’ system to monitor your driving habits?
4) Keep your car in good health
Prevention is always cheaper than the cure. Follow the recommended service frequencies in your owner's manual, keep tyres at the correct PSI and ensure that engine fluids are regularly topped up. Using new diagnostics apps on your smartphone also lets you know if there are any issues on the horizon. This will save you trips to the garage and cut down your costs.
5) Empty your car of rubbish
We all hoard unnecessary junk in our boot. But it costs you a wedge. Classic boot detritus includes sports equipment, old walking boots, and tools. Many people also consider it a good place to store rubbish. Weight is fuel and fuel is money. Empty it.
6) Don’t waste cash at the garage
As with insurance, shop around. This time, it’s more about dependability than upfront price - this will save you cash in the long run. Also, before your MOT, double check your headlights, windscreen and tyres to see if you they're as they should be. It's going to be cheaper for you to fix up small things than your garage. Plus, you should consider using council-run MOT centres, as they have no interest in exaggerating repair bills.
7) Be forecourt smart
Be smart when you buy fuel. Avoid motorway service stations - they’re always more expensive. Try using a cashback card, such as an American Express, giving you 5% cashback on fuel purchases. Also, unless you’ve got a high performance car, don’t opt for ‘high performance’ fuel, it's unlikely to make a difference.
8) Ensure you don’t buy a lemon
Don’t buy a piece of junk. Beware the dealers out there who are looking to make a quick buck. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. It’ll always cost you more in the long run. Our cars are HPI cleared and undergo a stringent multi-stage inspection process, including a 123-point independent inspection and an assessment by our in-house team to ensure complete quality. Beware, most dealers don't do this.
9) Make your car pay
Ok, so this one is money-making, not money-saving. There are an increasing number of ways you can monetise your car. Hire it out, share it with a stranger, or even become an Uber driver. If you're feeling brave, you could also turn it into a mobile billboard, with addition of branded vinyls.
10) Buy a used car
New car depreciation costs a bomb. First year losses can be incredible, up to 40% in fact. For some models, such as BMW 3 series, you’re looking at losing up to £12,000 in the first year alone. Buying used shields you from this crazy expense.