Buying a new or used car is a big decision to make. You have the price of the car and the total cost of ownership – which includes car loan interest rate, taxes, and other fees – to consider. Of course, that cost of ownership is only the beginning. You need to consider the cost of running the car and maintaining it in the long run.
The average household spends around £500 to £700 a month on car-related expenses, including the cost of fuel and regular maintenance. You can reduce that cost further using the tips and tricks we are about to discuss in this article. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Know the Optimum Speed
Every car has an optimum speed where you can hit the highest level of efficiency. Now that there are so many online forums and websites about cars, finding your car’s optimum speed is very easy to do. In most cases, the optimum speed sits in the 50-70 KPH range.
Once you know the optimum speed and details such as the optimum rev, you can change your driving style accordingly. The longer you can stay within the optimum speed range, the more you save on fuel and engine wear. It may seem like a small amount to save, but the small saving you make each day adds up to a substantial amount at the end of the year.
2. Drive Efficiently
Speaking of altering your driving habit, you also want to drop some bad habits you may have picked up over the years. Frequent use of the brakes is one of them. The more efficient way to go is using engine breaking to slow the car down rather than turning energy into heat by hitting the break.
Aggressive driving styles, particularly those that involve revving the engine frequently to produce noise or driving recklessly in traffic, is also not good for efficiency. You are not just consuming more fuel, but also putting more stress on your engine, the tires, and other components of the car.
3. Keep the Car Maintained
Never trade regular maintenance for a big service. I know a lot of people believe that skipping the recommended maintenance schedules is a way to save money, but believe me when I say that it isn’t. Regular maintenance keeps your car healthy and efficient – the way it is designed to be – for longer.
Sure, skipping the usual £50 maintenance bill for one or two month seems like a good idea at first, but the saving will be wiped away by a big service that costs you £300; that big service actually costs more than anticipated in almost every situation.
4. Get Breakdown Cover
Regular maintenance is good for your car, but things may still go wrong along the way. Investing in a good breakdown cover policy such as the cover offered by RAC is another way you can save on car running costs. Rather than paying a steep car for repair or to get the car towed to the nearest garage, you can simply call roadside assistance.
Let’s not forget that breaking down on your way to somewhere can cost more. Missed meetings and lost opportunities are the real costs to think about here. These added costs make the small fee of a comprehensive breakdown cover seems like the best investment you can make right now.
5. Be Smart with Maintenance
Sticking with the theme of maintaining the car properly, you also want to be smart with how maintenance is done. First, make sure the car is checked thoroughly so that early signs of issues can be spotted before they turn into bigger problems.
You also want to be efficient with car maintenance. Don’t change the oil too early, get the engine tuned to the type of fuel you use on a regular basis, and make sure you work with an experienced and trustworthy mechanic to avoid hidden fees and unexpected charges.
6. Stick with the Basics
It is really tempting to do car maintenance yourself. After all, you can save on the service charge when you do some DIY maintenance and repairs, can you? Well, it is true that you can save by doing your own maintenance, but only if you can do it properly.
Basic maintenance routines are easier. Rotating your tires every couple of weeks and doing an air filter change or sparkplugs are the kind of maintenance tasks that you can do yourself.
7. Shop Around
Car insurance is a key cost element to also take seriously. You cannot drive your car without sufficient car insurance coverage. For some, this means spending a fortune to get that proper car insurance coverage.
You can save on car insurance – and the breakdown cover we talked about earlier – by comparing options and taking advantage of the deals available today. Shop around for other consumables, including tires, parts, and fuel.
After owning the car for some time, you will find that these tips are very helpful in helping you save on your running costs and car maintenance. In fact, you’ll start discovering more ways to save along the way, leading to a substantial amount each year. Get started with these tips and start spending less on car maintenance.