Saving money is often one of our big goals for the year. Having extra cash to spend on the so-called important things in life (such as bills) and the actually important things (holidays, time with family), is something we can all aim for.
Running and maintaining your car can either be really cheap or really expensive. You can’t always prepare for an unexpected breakdown or someone crashing into your car, but there are lots of ways you can ensure your car doesn’t drain your finances too much. Here are our 9 money saving driving tips for 2023.
Ensuring your car is running at its best can help you save money in a few ways. If your engine is nice and clean of the gunk that can build up over the years, then it will be more efficient in burning the fuel, so you’ll get better miles per gallon.
If your car has had a service, then you are more likely to spot potential problems before they cause something more serious like a breakdown or end up requiring an expensive repair. If you have a garage you can trust, speak to them about the cost of a service. Haggle if you feel comfortable. If not, look for promotions from garages offering a discounted service. Just make sure to check reviews before you go anywhere new.
As important for your car as it is for you (drink some water!), ensuring the fluids in your car are at the required levels can stop a potential expensive breakdown.
When’s the last time you took your dipstick out? Check the oil in your car and make sure that you have enough in your engine. Too little oil can cause a serious issue that is very expensive to rectify. Look online to find the right oil for your car and shop around for the best price.
Water is the same. You need water in your car’s radiator to keep the engine cool. If there isn’t enough water, your car will overheat and your engine will seize up. So make sure you top up the water levels regularly.
And remember, you need antifreeze in your car’s water levels during the winter. So make sure you top it up before the cold weather hits. Don’t leave it too late!
Another thing that effects the performance and efficiency of your car is its tyres. If they don’t have enough tread across their circumference, or if they are not at the correct level of inflation, then your car’s engine will have to work harder to accelerate and brake. This will all burn more petrol, meaning you’ll be spending more at the petrol pump.
You can waste a lot of petrol if you don’t know the best possible route to your destination. You can use a sat nav to plan every single journey if you like, and you can often choose between the shortest and quickest route.
If you use a web-based sat nav or have one connected to the internet, they can detect major congestion and traffic issues, meaning you can redirect and stop burning petrol by being stuck crawling past an accident or roadworks.
In the colder months, your car will take longer to warm up. So the engine will have to work harder until it gets up to a good temperature. You might be tempted to go crazy on the accelerator at this point, trying to get your car warm and running efficiently. You should go easy on the car instead, as not only will this burn less petrol, but also put less strain on the engine.
If you travel a lot with friends for things like walks or a meal out, don’t be afraid to offer a car share. While it can be a lot easier to just drive yourself there and back and not have to think about picking anyone else up, sharing the journey will save one of you on petrol. You can always swap whose driving the next time around. That way you’ll turn two journeys in your car into just the one.
When the time comes to renew your insurance, make sure you are getting the protection you need. Check your annual mileage to see if you are not overstating just how many miles you do. The best way to do this is to look at your last couple of MOTs and see the mileage difference between the two certificates.
Also look at the optional extras. If your household has a second car, do you really need a hire car option? Could the potential outlay on a windscreen repair be worth risking instead of paying to have it included in your cover?
It’s never been so easy to compare the different car insurance options on offer. The key to saving money is to use more than one price comparison site, as well as those that advertise they don’t work with these companies. Once you’ve done one comparison, you’ll have all the details you need to quickly do another. So shop around and find the best deal.
If your car breaks down often, seems to drink petrol like water, and is just becoming more of a burden than a benefit, then it might be time to upgrade to a new car. The latest models have more efficient engines and tend to be a lot more reliable. So perhaps it’s time you looked at changing to a better model to save money in the long run.