Money Saving Tips for Drivers: How to Reduce Your Car Bills

As household bills mount, here are some tips on how you can lower your car costs, from saving on fuel and parking to choosing the right new car.

money saving tips for drivers: how to reduce your car bills

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting nearly every aspect of daily life, even drivers struggling with car costs.

Fuel prices have calmed down after several months of endless increases, but they remain high and with household budgets strained by rising energy and food prices, drivers are trying to find ways to cut back. the costs.

Using a car less or getting rid of it altogether are the quickest ways to reduce running costs, but for many motorists that’s simply not an option, so we’ve come up with some other steps you can take to reduce the cost of driving.

money saving tips for drivers: how to reduce your car bills

drive efficiently

Modifying your driving style can help reduce fuel consumption

Fuel is one of the biggest individual expenses for drivers and even with recent price drops, gasoline and diesel are still much more expensive than they were a year ago. Adapting your driving style and making small changes to the way you use your car can lower your fuel bill.

  • Driving smoothly and steadily is key to maximizing your car’s fuel efficiency. Avoid harsh acceleration and braking, as these burn more fuel, and try to anticipate what the traffic around you will do to help maintain a constant speed.
  • Keep your speed low. The AA estimates that driving at 70 mph uses up to 9 percent more fuel than at 60 mph, while sitting at 80 mph can use up to 25 percent more fuel than at 70 mph.
  • Stick to standard fuel. Unless you drive a high-performance car, you’re unlikely to notice the claimed benefits of premium fuels, so save around 10p a liter and stick with regular unleaded or diesel.
  • If you drive most of the time in the city, turn off the air conditioning and open a window. At low speeds, this is the most effective way to cool your car. At high speeds, however, air resistance is worse for efficiency, so close the windows and turn on the air conditioning.
  • Ditch unnecessary weight and drag like bike racks and roof racks, and eliminate any clutter that’s weighing down your car.

Most of these tips are just as valid for electric cars as they are for gasoline and diesel, and just as important as the cost of charging an electric vehicle.

compare fuel

Fuel prices are high right now, but even within a small area, prices can vary by several cents per liter. Check gas station costs while traveling or use an online tool like Petolprices.com to check prices near you. And don’t assume that supermarkets are the cheapest. Recent research found that independent gas stations have led the recent price cuts.

check your tires

While there are many driving techniques to save fuel, one of the easiest ways is to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can affect economy by up to 3%, so check them regularly. Different tires can also offer different economic performance, so when it’s time to replace them, compare the eco-rating and see if a different rubber could save you money.

Reduce insurance costs

Car insurance, along with fuel, is among the biggest costs for drivers, but there are several ways to save money.

  • Shop around and don’t just accept your renewal quote. Even with recent changes in the law, there’s no guarantee your current provider will be able to provide the cheapest coverage, so shop around before you renew.
  • Make sure your cover fits your use and needs. There’s no point in paying for commute coverage if you don’t drive to work, or paying for more miles than you actually drive each year. Also check what extras are included in your policy and consider if you need all of them. And consider your named controllers. Adding an older, more experienced driver may actually lower premiums, but younger drivers are likely to increase costs.
  • Consider a black box policy. These telemetry-based policies use a tracker to monitor driver behavior. While they sound a bit like Big Brother, they can help cut costs, especially for young drivers.
  • Most insurers charge more to pay in monthly installments, so if you can afford it, pay your premium in one lump sum.

Pay taxes annually

Like insurance, it’s cheaper to pay car tax all at once than in installments. The DVLA charges a 5% premium for paying by direct debit monthly and paying in semi-annual installments is also more expensive, so if you have the funds, pay 12 months’ taxes at once.

Carry out your own controls prior to the ITV

The annual ITV checks the roadworthiness of your car and can detect problems that you are not aware of. However, many of the most common ITV faults are problems that can be detected and repaired at home much cheaper than trusting your mechanic.

Before you bring your car in for testing, check all the lights, the windshield washer fluid level, the condition of the wiper blades, and the tire tread depth. Buying new bulbs, blades and fluids from a motor factor and fitting them yourself will be cheaper than paying your shop to do it. Being able to shop for new tires early also means you’re more likely to find a better deal.

buy used

If you want something almost new, dealers often sell low-mileage ex-demo models after just a few months with significant reductions in new price. If that’s still too expensive, the second-hand market has options for just about any budget – just follow our advice before you hand over money to buy a used car.

smart park

As with fuel and insurance, it pays to shop around for the cheapest parking. Online tools and apps like Parkopedia can help you compare prices at different parking lots near your destination, making it easy to save money. Alternatively, use a park-and-ride service or sign up for one of the online road-sharing services like YourParkingSpace or JustPark, where owners rent out parking spaces, often for much less than official car parks. This works both ways and you could make money renting your own driveway while you are at work.

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