Driving can be a costly thing. Not only do we have to contend with the upfront cost of a vehicle, we also need to grapple with ongoing bills. Fuelling, maintaining and insuring a car all cost money, too.If you want to minimise your driving expenses, there are a few worthwhile strategies to consider. Let’s run through a few of the more effective ones.
Shop around for fuel
It’s never been easier to inform yourself about fuel prices near to you. Take stock of the options, and adjust your route accordingly. Remember, however, that there’s no point in saving on fuel costs if you’re going to have to drive out of your way to get it.
For the most part, supermarkets tend to offer the best value. What really matters, however, is your distance from a motorway. The convenience of filling up at motorway stations comes with a significant premium.
Shop around for insurance
Car insurance products come in many different forms. If you have other drivers in the house, then you might split the cost. Look into multi-car insurance policies, which provide a means of doing exactly that. You should make a point of haggling with insurers, too – the money you save can often justify the extra time you spend on the phone.
Avoid premium fuels
Premium fuels are designed for performance vehicles which can make use of them. If you fill your ordinary car with this kind of fuel, then you’re spending extra without enjoying any advantage in terms of performance or economy.
Claim for damage inflicted by potholes
If your car collides with a pothole and suffers damage as a result, then it might be that you can make a legal case against your council. Make sure that you’ve documented the damage, and then report it.
Avoid extra charges
The congestion charge in London, and the expanded ULEZ, can lead to nasty surprises for those visiting the city. Given that there are similar schemes set up around the country, it’s worth being conscious of the potential for additional cost. If you’re regularly making a trip into a big city, then it might be worth switching to a low-emission vehicle, or taking the park-and-ride approach.
Be proactive about maintenance
If you keep your car in the best possible condition, then it will cost you less in the long term. When tyres are underinflated or overworn, they’ll impact your fuel efficiency. Oil, coolant and screenwash should also be topped up.
The way you actually drive should also be considered. Efficient driving is an artform, which basically amounts to paying attention to the road in front of you, limiting your speed and braking, and giving your car and chance to warm up on cold days.