Being able to drive a car is very convenient, but it’s equally expensive! For starters, cars themselves are among the most expensive things most people buy in a lifetime. After that, you’re required to insure it, and have to pay all sorts of regular costs to keep it on the road. Once you take a step back and do some maths, some people may even consider getting rid of their car altogether! Running a car is never cheap, but there are a number of ways you can cut down the costs. Here are a few things you might want to try.
Shop around for the best deals on car insurance.
My first point is to look around for better breakdown cover. At one point, looking around the whole market for car insurance was a revolutionary, new idea. Now, everyone does it. However, this isn’t the only thing you should be shopping around for. In all likelihood, there are several breakdown cover plans which are cheaper than the one you’re currently getting. Various comparison websites allow you to enter criteria for the kind of coverage you need, and then you can see all the relevant services. If you want a tip on what to look out for, try to find an up-front plan. Here, you pay out yourself to have the car fixed or towed, and then claim the cost back from the provider afterwards.
Changing gears can affect fuel efficiency.
My next tip is to make more efficient gear changes. A lot of people aren’t aware that the way you change gears on a car affects the fuel efficiency. Believe me, though, it does! Most people will up the gear when their tach hits 3,000 rpm on a petrol car, or 2,500 on a diesel. However, some studies have shown that we’d be helping ourselves out by taking both figures down by 500rpm. Don’t be afraid to shift up to fifth and sixth where appropriate, either. Obviously you’re not going to try and get up to 50 in 2nd fuel-efficient cars. As we move into the future, more and more models are expected to have indicators showing you the most efficient gear. Another good habit to get into is lifting your foot off the throttle when you’re slowing down. This means that you won’t be using any fuel at all!
Take your vehicle to council MOT centres.
Another good tip is to start going to council MOT centres, rather than private garages. These centres won’t save you any money on the certification itself. You’ll still have to pay the full price of around £55.00 . However, council-run testing centres don’t do repairs or sell spare parts. This means they have little reason to fail you compared to the usual garage option. I’ve heard of people going to a private centre, and facing a pretty hefty repair bill after their MOT. Then, they’d have the same car towed to a council-run centre, where it’s passed. Obviously, not every mechanic that does repairs is going to try to scam you. However, when you go to a council testing centre, you’ve got a much better chance of getting an accurate result.
Check your tire pressure regularly.
Getting into the habit of checking your tyre pressure may also shave off a few pounds from your overall running costs. Again, this is something that a lot of people neglect to do. Many drivers simply get a fresh set of tyres, and will leave them alone until there’s some big, glaring fault in them. If you carry on doing this, then you’ll end up paying far more for petrol than is necessary. Over time, regardless of the brand, tyres will begin to leak a bit of air. As the air pressure depletes, the tyres fail to do their job, and your car has to work harder to keep the whole thing moving. I advise getting a portable pressure gauge and keeping it somewhere visible in your car. Whenever you have a few minutes, check the pressure in your tyres. Keeping them pumped up is sure to help somewhat with your monthly petrol expenditure. Sometimes, the tyres themselves can have a big impact on performance. If you live in an area that has harsh winters, you can save some money by getting all season tyres, rather than a standard set. Although tyres can have a pretty big impact on the cost of driving, there’s also a safety element. Poorly inflated tyres are a fairly prevalent cause of car accidents.
Take these tips on board your car, and soon you’ll begin to the difference. With the amount you’ll save in these areas, you can buy all the spinner rims and fuzzy dice you could want!