When lockdown was first announced back in March, vehicles on the road dropped by 23%, however, as people began moving again, car usage increased. With that in mind, and the financial uncertainty facing us all at the moment, there are some things we can all do to make owning and running a vehicle that little bit cheaper.
It might sound counterintuitive to pay for regular servicing, but getting your vehicle checked regularly means any potential faults can be stopped and fixed before they become costly repairs. Similarly, before an MOT check for things yourself. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT because of simple things such as faulty bulbs, tyre treads, and empty washer fluid bottles. These simple things you can check before your MOT and will save you money. No matter how simple they are, the garage won’t rectify them before completing the MOT, and will fail your vehicle.
Buy the correct tyres
While it can be tempting to buy the cheapest tyres available, you could end up paying more in the long run. Not only are cheaper tyres more likely to result in increased in CO2 emissions, but they can also increase fuel consumption.
Winter tyres are great for colder months, where snow, ice, and slush have an impact on driving conditions, while run flat tyres can help reduce the cost of road side assistance, allowing you to reach home safely in the event of a puncture.
Avoid premium fuel
You’ll often notice at garages ‘premium’ fuels, that claim to offer performance and economy advantages, as well as being able to clean your engine. However, unless you’re driving a performance vehicle, you’re unlikely to see any real difference, except you’ll be out of pocket. Premium fuels tend to cost 10p a litre more than regular diesel and petrol.
In winter months, it takes a while for a car’s engine to warm up, and because cars are least efficient when they’re cold, if you drive too quickly from start-up, you’re redoubling the wasted fuel, as well as wearing out the engine.
Similarly, avoid aggressive accelerating and breaking, as this too can burn through the fuel at a faster rate. On motorways, using cruise control help you keep a steady speed and will conserve fuel.
Shop around for car insurance
Car insurance is one of the biggest costs when it comes to owning a vehicle. It can be tempting to simply accept your auto-renewal quote but shop around and see if you can find a better deal. If you can, call your insurer and haggle to try and reduce it.