Cars have become a crucial part of our day-to-day lives, with the average household now having 2 cars. In January petrol and diesel prices hit an 18 month high, and with ever increasing insurance premiums and car maintenance costs many of us have become unaware of the impact this has on our outgoings.
With that in mind, here are a few helpful pointers to help you keep those costs as low as possible.
The average cost per mile for a non-hybrid or electric vehicle is 13p per mile. Based on a national average of 12,000 miles per year, that is £1,560 per year. Switching to a hybrid or electric will reduce this dramatically but that carries its own costs, so for those who can’t afford it, here are some quick tips to save fuel.
- Use the accelerator as little as possible
The further down the pedal is, the more fuel you use. Keep the pedal high and revs low.
- Unload any unnecessary weight
Empty your boot or back seats of to save accelerating unnecessary weight.
- Drive in Eco Mode (if you have one)
Many new cars have an eco mode. Using it will save you considerable fuel usage.
- Read the road ahead
Braking unnecessarily wastes more energy than anything else when driving as any momentum lost during braking has to be replaced with more acceleration. Read the road ahead and by reacting earlier you retain more momentum, saving fuel.
- Check your tyre pressures
Tyre pressures that are too low will cause more drag, increasing fuel usage. Ensure they are pumped to the manufacturers recommended PSI and you will also get a nice even tyre wear, making your tyres last longer.
- Don’t use air-con unless you absolutely need it
Air conditioning runs off the engine and causes increased fuel consumption. Turn it off whenever you enjoy a mild day!
Shop around for car insurance…every year!
It is a known fact that insurance companies increase premiums at the end of each to capitalise on lazy customers who opt for the easy renewal. There are numerous comparison sites which will give multiple quotes quickly and easily, and it really doesn’t take long. In most cases your existing provider will match your best quote to retain your custom, so you don’t even need to switch. Even if you can’t find 20 minutes to research other quotes, call your existing provider and they will almost definitely improve the quote considerably.
Skip the main dealer
Steve Spooner runs a Good Garage Scheme recommended servicing, bodyshop and MOT centre in Bromley, he suggests that by opting for a recognised independent garage, you will save yourself a small fortune in labour and part costs, whilst still maintaining your warranties. “opting for an independent garage can save you money, but it needn’t mean that your service you received is lessened or your warranties are jeopardised, just be sure to choose a trusted garage, such as member of the good garage scheme”
If you are commuting to work, consider arranging a car share with a colleague or someone else who works nearby. By sharing the driving or fuel costs you can instantly half your weekday overheads. If you don’t have a willing colleague, there are car sharing websites where you can register your journey and look for a trusted applicant too.