After buying a house or any other property, for most in the UK, buying a car will be the most expensive purchase you make. The initial outlay of buying your vehicle will be expensive, often running into many thousands of pounds. But what people fail to take into consideration is the cost of running a car, too. Car tax, insurance, and maintenance will all add up, and add a considerable amount to your monthly outgoings. Many people are beginning to question whether they actually need a car at all (particularly if they are living in a larger city). But if you definitely do need your car, and wish you could save a little money at the same time, here are a few hints and tips for ways to save money on the cost of running your car:
Maintain it yourself
It can be very expensive to take your car to the garage and have a mechanic look at it every time you need some work doing. Of course if you have a large job that needs undertaking, such as work on the electrics or changing the engine, then a mechanic is the best man (or woman) for the job. But for smaller jobs such as giving your car an oil change, replacing a tyre or repairing the windscreen wiper blades you’ll save a significant amount of money if you can do these jobs yourself. If you don’t know how, it’s not hard to learn! Many local colleges will offer a short course on car maintenance: this will be enough to teach you the basics of how your car works and how to complete any small and easy tasks. Even if you have the initial outlay of paying for a short course, in the long run learning these essential life skills will save you a fortune!
Shop Around For Your Car Insurance
Car insurance is expensive, no matter how long you’ve been driving for. But if you’ve only just passed your driving test you could find the cost of car insurance prohibitive to getting your own car altogether! The key to saving money on your car insurance is to shop around. Don’t just search the comparison websites: they only tend to deal with the larger insurance providers. Take the time to get quotes from independent providers too and remember that the more legwork you put in the more likely you are to save yourself some money. If you are a new driver and you’re concerned that your car insurance premium will be high then think about the kind of car you choose to buy too: something with a smaller engine will fall into a lower insurance category, for example. Smaller cars also tend to be lighter and therefore cheaper to run, meaning you would find yourself in a win-win situation if you opted for a compact car!
Do Your Research
Unfortunately, no matter how well you look after and maintain them, all cars will break down and need new parts at some point. These can cost hundreds of pounds, depending on the parts you need. Before you buy any car, take the time to do some research into the cost of the parts that most commonly need repairing for that particular make or model. If you find that the parts for the car you are thinking of buying are very expensive, it’s probably worth considering choosing something else instead. Fords tend to be the most affordable cars to repair: if in doubt, speak to your local mechanic. They are usually very helpful and can offer plenty of great advice about the most cost-effective cars to choose.
Finally, watch how you drive! If you learn to drive economically you can save money on the amount of petrol your car consumes. Keep your car as light as possible: don’t carry any extra luggage or other weight that you don’t need. The lighter your car is, the more economical it is with fuel. Check your tyres regularly: having the correct tyre pressure will not only make your car safer, it will also help you to drive more economically too. Finally, plan your route before you go anywhere. It sounds obvious, but by selecting the shortest route to your destination you won’t only be saving time you’ll be saving petrol money too!