saving-car-moneyMany of us rely on our cars, whether it’s for getting to work, taking the kids to school, shopping, or carrying out our hobbies. But cars aren’t cheap to run, and anything you can do to reduce the amount you spend on your car has to be worthwhile.

Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to reduce your motoring costs but still retain the convenience of a car.

Buy the Right Car

This may sound obvious, but saving on your motoring costs starts when you buy the car in the first place. You might have a need for a particular size of car to accommodate your family, but within that consideration, you can look for models that offer the best fuel economy and lowest annual VED.
If you do a high mileage, you may find that it’s cheaper to run on diesel. Although the car will cost more to buy and the fuel is more expensive, the extra MPG should pay for this over a few years. For those doing lower mileage, petrol is likely to work out cheaper even if you use more fuel, plus modern diesels tend to suffer from problems like clogged filters if they’re only used for short journeys.

Keep it Maintained

It’s important to keep your car in good condition and have it serviced regularly if you’re to get the best performance and economy from it. This needn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, though. If your car is out of warranty, you’ll probably find that you can get it serviced cheaper at a local specialist rather than using a franchised dealer.

Even if you have a newer car and want to protect your warranty, you’ll often find that dealers offer fixed price servicing or plans that let you pay for servicing in advance which can save you money in the long run.

Your own day-to-day maintenance regime can make a difference too. A simple thing like keeping your tyres at the correct pressure can improve your fuel consumption by reducing rolling resistance.

Everyday Driving Tips

Every day, you can save in a number of ways. Start by removing all the unnecessary junk from the boot in order to save weight. If you have a roof rack, take it off when you’re not using it in order to reduce drag.

Keeping cool – no, we don’t mean looking good at the lights – affects your economy too. At low speeds, using the air con will use more fuel; however, opening the window at high speed creates more drag. For maximum economy, open the windows at lower speeds but switch to the air con above about 40 mph.

You can save by learning to practise more economical driving too. Try to keep things smooth and anticipate conditions ahead so that you avoid harsh braking and hard acceleration. With modern, fuel injected cars, just lifting your foot off the accelerator and letting the car coast downhill saves a surprising amount of fuel; don’t be tempted to take it out of gear, though, as it will then need to use fuel to keep the engine turning.

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