Cars are an expensive luxury these days. With many people still feeling the after-effects of the economic recession cars are yet another expense. It’s hard enough to make ends meet on a monthly basis anyway. But to have a car costing you extra money can be a right pain in the neck.
But the problem is that cars are essential for many people. If you need one, then you need one. There’s not much you can do about that fact. So here are some tips you might be able to use to cut down on the cost of having and using a car.
Shop Around for Insurance
One of the best ways to save money on your car is to save on the insurance. This is one of the biggest costs of having a car. It’s also a legal requirement, so there’s no way around it. You have to have insurance so you may as well try to get the best deal for yourself. Hunt around by using price comparison websites like Money Supermarket. It will be tempting to take the first offer that comes along just to get the process over with. This is the worst thing you can do as you could well end up paying too much. Make sure you get several quotes so you can make an informed decision about the best offer for you.
Renew Driver’s Licence
One thing that a lot of people forget to account for is the fact that their driving licence needs renewing. Make sure you don’t let your licence go out of date. According to the DVLA, over two million people in the UK have an out of date driver’s licence. Make sure you get yours renewed as soon as you can. Check the date of expiry and be sure to renew it in advance. It costs just £20.00 to renew your photocard. But if you have an out of date one and get caught you could face a fine of up to £1,000.
Buy Cheaper Petrol
If you’re serious about saving money on your car, it could be time to switch petrol. Sure, high-performance fuel might make your car run better or be a little more powerful. But it also costs a lot more money than regular fuel. And in most cars it is going to have a limited effect anyway. Have a look at what the lowest cost and most economical fuel type is for your vehicle and switch to that. You might be surprised at the difference you’ll notice in prices when you switch to a cheaper fuel type.
Ensuring your car has regular MOT checks will save you money in the long run. You might find problems as soon as they appear. At this stage, they’ll be easy and cheaper to fix. But if left too long these issues can become a lot worse and set you back much more money. You also should make sure you check your vehicle before you submit it for MOT testing. So many cars fail their MOT test first time due to issues that can be easily avoided. This may vary depending on what car you have. It’s not necessary to take the car to an expert. This is the sort of check that you can do yourself. You can check basic things like the suspension and headlights and make sure they’re working as they should. Preparing in advance gives your car a much higher chance of passing its test. If you do want an expert eye cast over it though you should check out www.rrg-group.com and use their car servicing options.
One of the best ways to cut down on car costs is to use your car less. Try to walk to as many places as you can. If you live quite a distance away from places you need to get to you might think about getting a bike. Cycling is good for you and saves a lot of money in addition to cutting down on your carbon footprint. Depending on where you live you may not even need a bike. For instance, if you lived in central London you can take public transport anywhere and then walk. So you don’t need to bother using your car. You’ll find that walking more reduces costs of fuel and the congestion charge as well as parking costs. These will soon mount up so you might find yourself making huge savings.
Oil and Fluid
If you want to be even more thrifty with costing you should make sure you change your oil and fluid yourself. This may not save you the big bucks, but every little helps. It will also give you valuable experience of how to do it in the future. At any rate, your oil will need changing at some point, whether it’s by you or somebody else. Check the oil once a month and top it off where needed. You should also make sure you check the fluid levels in your car’s cooling system. This is important for preventing the car from overheating and frost damage. These are two things that may cause expensive damage.
Find Free Parking Options
One of the best ways to cut costs and save money is to try to find free parking options in and around the local area. There are guides available online that will help you to avoid parking tickets and find the best parking options for you. You could even download a parking app on your smartphone. There are so many of these apps around that you’re bound to find one that will point you in the direction of free parking. Or at least you should be able to find cheaper parking alternatives to what you’re used to.
It may not seem like the most glamorous or inviting option but driving slower can save you a lot of cash. Don’t go at snail pace but do make sure you’re sensible, and you keep within the speed limits. This also means it will be easier for you to stop when you hit red lights, and that can increase fuel efficiency a lot. Don’t be tempted to put pedal to the metal to try to get places as quick as you can. If you drive slow and are more cautious, you will find your car will often be more fuel efficient. If you get rid of the clutter in your car, you’ll find that this helps as well as it’ll make your vehicle lighter.