Everyone likes to save money where they can. Finding ways to keep a few extra pounds in your pocket after your monthly expenses have gone out is something we can all appreciate. Running your car can be one of the biggest expenses that you face. Fuel prices, MOTs, insurance – it can all add up. The good news is that there are some ways you can reduce your monthly costs. Here are our top tips on how to save money running your car.

Lighten the load on your car

Every time you drive, you burn fuel. The heavier your car is, the more fuel will be burnt. So you need to try and lighten the load. We’re not talking about taking out seats or leaving the spare tyre at home. Do you keep golf clubs or buggies in your car when you don’t need them? Take them out and reduce the weight.

If your car has a roof rack or a bike rack on the back, are you using it all the time? Can you easily remove it and put it back on when needed? Not only are these items heavy and burn more fuel, but they also reduce the aerodynamic capability of your car. That means your car has to work harder to drive. So take it off and burn less fuel.

Always plan your trips

Another way we burn fuel is if we are driving around looking for the right road or struggling to find a parking space near your destination. A little bit of planning in advance can reduce the aimlessness, so you can work out exactly where you need to go and where to park.

You should also look at your phone’s map app for any long journey, even of you’ve done it hundreds of times before. The app can tell you of any accidents on the way or roadworks, so you can avoid them and stop yourself being stuck in traffic.

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Go easy on the accelerator

Getting your car up to speed also burns a lot of fuel. The harder you put your foot down, the more the engine works to get you to your desired speed. If you are a little gentler or a bit more patient, you won’t burn as much petrol. It also works when you hit the brakes. If you brake sharply, all the energy you used to get up to speed goes to waste. So slow down carefully and safely.

Avoid short trips if you can

Short trips can burn a lot more fuel per mile than longer ones. Your engine is cold and not operating at maximum efficiency, so you won’t get the benefit unless you are driving further. If you can avoid those short trips down the road, then you’ll save on fuel. Plus, walking is good for you and public transport is a great way to meet new people (sort of!).

Shop around for insurance and breakdown cover

It’s easy to be lazy and just accept the renewal quote for your car insurance or breakdown cover. But shopping around has never been easier and you can almost always find yourself a better deal. Don’t just use one comparison site. Each one has their own deals with insurance providers, so use 2-3 to ensure you are getting shown the best deals available.

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Try and pay your car insurance in one go

Car insurance can be expensive, so you might consider spreading it across the year. But car insurance companies will charge you interest on this, as they sort of see it as being like a loan or finance product. If you can pay it off in one go, do so. Otherwise, look at a 0% credit card that you can use to pay for it and then pay off over the year.

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