When it comes to your monthly finances, your car can be one of the most expensive. All it takes is a bit of laziness or a lack of foresight, and you could end up spending on items and expenses that could easily have been avoided. The last thing you want is for your car to be a constant drain on your finances.

So what can you do? Here at Creditplus, the home of ethical car finance, we’ve taken a look at the common costly causes that can leave you out of pocket.

Here are our top 9 tips on how you can save money on your car.

1. Don’t ignore problems with your car

We’ve all had a situation where we’ve been driving our car and noticed something was wrong. Whether it was a strange new sound from the engine, or a different feel to how the car drives, there has always been something that will set alarm bells ringing in your head. But these alarms can often be silenced by bigger concerns over the cost of a repair might have on your bank balance.

But it’s almost always better to fix a problem when it starts, as the more time you leave it, the bigger the cost could become. What might have been just a simple need for a new part could escalate into more and more repairs and replacements.

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2. Find a mechanic you can trust

If you really want to save money, you need to find a mechanic that you can trust. For many drivers, the workings of your car can be a complete mystery. So you don’t know if what the garage tells you is true or not when it comes to your car being repaired. Some unscrupulous mechanics will use this to their advantage, having you pay for unnecessary repairs to inflate their invoice.

Look online for mechanics in your area and read the reviews they have received. You should try and get a balanced view of their personality and professionalism. Don’t be afraid to go down and speak to them in person. Many honest, hardworking mechanics will take a look at your car for free to see if there is an actual problem or not. Once you’ve found the right mechanic, you will end up saving a lot of money.

3. Find the cheapest petrol pump near you

Convenience can often trump practicality when it comes to filling up your car. You might have a petrol station that’s just around the corner or on the way to your work. That doesn’t mean you should use that place over another. Check online to see what prices are like in your area. Supermarkets tend to have better prices than other chain garages, especially if you have some sort of membership card that generates points. You can also download an app to your phone that will let you know the nearest place to you where you can get the best price.

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4. Shop around for car insurance

The number of price comparison websites online means there’s no longer an excuse not to shop around for your next car insurance deal. While it’s easier to just stick with the company you’re with, there’s no guarantee they will give you the best deal. In fact, they may be saving their best price from you until you tell them that you are going to leave, so they can entice you to stay.

Go online and shop around. Try a few different sites, including the ones that don’t advertise on a price comparison website. Once you have a quote, tell your existing provider what you have found. If they can’t match or beat it, it’s time to move on!

5. Make the most of your car

The daily commute and battle for a parking space can be the most expensive part of driving. So why not take a few simple steps to lessen the cost? Find out if your work has a car share scheme that you can join. Not only can you split the cost of driving, but you might become eligible for a better parking position.

If your company doesn’t have a car share scheme, check online for more general schemes in your area. You might be able to join up with someone from a different company.

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6. Reduce weight

No, this isn’t us telling you to take a diet. Carrying something in your car that you don’t need on a day to day basis, such as a roof rack or your child’s car seat the load means you will save money on petrol. Simple yet effective!

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7. Time to upgrade?

Modern cars are more fuel efficient than they have ever and technology is more refined too, this means the miles per gallon you get in your car is improved. Older models don’t have the same benefit, meaning you end up having to fill up much more often.

Newer cars also have better emission scores, so you end up paying less tax. And while buying a new car is never cheap, the benefits in the long term are easy to see.

8. Shop around for a good deal on part exchange

If you do decide to exchange your old car for a newer model, don’t just accept what the dealer has to offer. Shop around at a few different places to see what sort of money you can get for your old car. Make sure you are honest when you go for your valuation, so that it will be a fair and accurate price.

Once you have a good price, speak to the dealer who is providing the car and tell them of the deal you have found. They may match it or offer another incentive to ensure you choose them as the dealer for your next car.

Choose an ethical car finance provider

Transparency is important when it comes to choosing your car finance provider. You need to be certain that all the costs and details are accurate at all times, otherwise you might find yourself with unexpected charges or a bill much bigger than you thought.

Creditplus are an FCA approved car finance provider who has ethical lending at our very heart. We will compare finance options from a wide-range of different lenders to ensure you get the best finance solution.

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