Seven ways to cut your car’s running costs



The cost of living has increased lately and everyone feels it in their pocket. One such cost that seems to constantly increase is running your car.

As life continues to seem more expensive, experts at Wessex Fleet came up with seven ways to lower your bills. Particularly handy with National Insurance contributions and energy bills which soared in April.

Tips range from trading in your car to an electric vehicle to save money. Down to one simple change you can make to your insurance.

1. Adjust your job title on your insurance

Insurance companies rate your policy based on a wide range of “risk” factors when calculating the cost of your premium. This includes your job title and the level of risk associated with it.

Fine-tuning your job title, while still being specific, can save you money. MoneySavingExpert said a user saved £100 by using ‘software’ rather than ‘computer games’ in their title.

2. Rent a car rather than buying one outright

If you are planning to buy a new car, you may not be able to afford one. Renting a car from a finance company can be a great way to lease one with lower monthly payments over a period of time.

At the end of the contract, you can usually choose to keep it or return it. You can choose between hire purchase (HP) and personal purchase agreement (PCP) to decide which is best for you and your financial situation.

Car finance options usually have a warranty of a few years, so any repairs or maintenance will be covered. This could end up leaving you with fewer unexpected payments.

3. Keep your tires inflated

Petrol prices have risen, and even with the 5p cut in fuel duty announced in the spring statement, they are still higher than six months ago. Although your fuel demand may depend on uncontrollable circumstances like commuting to work, there are several tips you can follow to reduce fuel consumption.

Keeping your tires inflated to their recommended capacity can help save you money. Low tire pressure can increase your car’s drag, which consumes more fuel.

While keeping car clutter to a minimum and removing anything unnecessary can also help. It’s also good to drive economically and shop for your fuel.

4. Add experienced drivers to your car insurance

Did you know that insurance companies reduce their rates if you add an experienced driver and a clean driver’s license? This is because insurance companies assume that you will spend less time driving and are therefore less likely to have an accident because you are sharing the vehicle. With their permission, you should experiment with adding different friends or family members to your font.

5. Shop around for car insurance to save £264 on average

Depending on your age, your driving history, the car you drive, and even your job, your car insurance can be quite expensive. Even though it is lower than others, it is still a significant expense to consider when budgeting. The best way to save on your car insurance is to compare prices online.

Using comparison websites can show you the best deals possible given your information, which can save you up to £264 on average. If you are a young or new driver, you may consider installing a black box to reduce costs.

Just make sure the cheapest option you prefer has the best cover for you – you might even get freebies using particular providers, so shop around before buying any insurance product.

6. Save £182 washing your car at home

Depending on the type of car wash you visit, you can save a lot of money by doing the job yourself instead. As experts suggest you should wash your car every two weeks to prevent dirt and grime from building up on the bodywork, it could cost you £182 a year if you visit an auto wash and dry at a BP garage or Shell fortnightly, £7 a time.

This cost will increase significantly if you have your car cleaned each time to clean the interior and exterior, including polishing and waxing, with the average cost of a full valet in London being £45. Using the same fortnightly example, this would cost £1,170 over the space of a year.

Washing your car at home is rather a very simple task. The shampoo and wax you will need is also very inexpensive, compared to regularly visiting automatic or manual car washes.

7. Switch to an electric vehicle and save £1,038 a year

Although buying an electric vehicle will cost more in the short term if you decide to go for an outright purchase, you can save a lot of money in the long run by switching to an electric vehicle (EV). It has been estimated that you can save around 11p per mile by driving an electric vehicle as opposed to a petrol alternative.

Based on an average UK driver driving 7,600 miles a year, around £858 in fuel costs can be saved by switching to an electric vehicle. If you then charge your electric vehicle at home, the annual electricity cost would average £342, while the equivalent in petrol costs would be £1,200.

To add to that, you can also save on vehicle tax, as zero-emission electric cars pay no road tax – saving £180 in the first year and £150 each year thereafter, compared to most petrol and diesel cars. So, taking fuel and tax savings into account, you could see yourself saving over £1,000 a year.

You can also receive a government grant of £1,500 to help lower the price when buying a new electric vehicle if you meet the conditions, such as the car costing £32,000 or less and having emissions of CO2 less than 50 g/km.

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