Every part of your budget presents the potential for savings, but so many people pour unnecessary money into buying a car, much less maintaining and driving one, that it’s usually dead simple to cut your car costs. Judicious pruning of your car expenses can keep you on the road while limiting the amount of money you have to spend to keep the car fueled, garaged, and in working order.
Painless ways to cut your driving costs
There is no easier way to dissipate your funding than to own a car and drive it. Consequently, car ownership provides a number of easy budget adjustments you can take to save money.
Rent, don’t own. You can join a car club and rent a car for a few pounds per hour, driving only while you need to. It’s an ideal way to shed the responsibilities of ownership and maintenance while retaining periodic access to a car, and unless you have to drive a great deal a car club is probably your most thrifty option for transport.
Carpools, for rides and expenses. If you keep your own car, you can trade lifts with a group of coworkers who live in the same area. If one of you picks up the others each day, you can rotate the duty and each of you will save on petrol. If you share living space with family members in order to save, you can all contribute to purchasing a car for the house, and share both the convenience and the expenses. If you can’t find a carpool partner on your own, there are websites to help you meet like-minded individuals– one example is Liftshare, Gumtree hosts a ride sharing page, and a search for ‘ride sharing UK’ brings up a number of other alternatives.
Walk or cycle to school and work. If you’re in the habit of driving your children to school, try setting up a walking club in which parents take turns shepherding a group of young walkers. The principle translates to cycling if you or your children need to move more quickly, and you’ll feel the benefits of the extra fitness training almost immediately.
Confine yourself to cheap petrol prices. That doesn’t mean driving endless miles and wasting fuel to save a few pence, it means finding the best price within a reasonable distance and planning your route to take in the cheap seller on the way.
Proper inflation of tyres. The correct level of inflation is information given to you with your car, and it’s set by the car manufacturer. While it’s true that overinflating your tires might save a little petrol, it can also change your ability to brake because less of the tyre makes contact with the road surface. Underinflating tyres increases friction, petrol consumption, and wear on your tyres, and it also impairs your ability to brake. So it’s well worth your while to check your tyre pressure once each week.
Don’t store unnecessary items in your car. You’ll need to keep the normal car safety apparatus in your boot (spare tyre, jack, reflectors for changing a tyre at night), but otherwise your car should remain empty. Every pound of weight consumes extra petrol when you ferry it about, making junk removal one of the easiest car savings tips available.
Spare tyre note: Don’t depend on the car manufacturer to provide one, because replacing the traditional spare with a tire patch kit is one of the ways manufacturers are now trying to save. Unless you genuinely prefer the temporary patch option to a replacement tyre, make sure that spare remains at your disposal in case of a puncture.
Switch your inefficient car for one that’s cheaper to operate. Quick loans could provide you with the necessary funding required. Usually when you choose a model that uses less petrol, you can also save on the purchase itself.
Often, you’ll find your car insurance also costs less, but you may wish to price insurance beforehand and factor that cost into your estimate of which car will be cheapest for you.