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How to cut the cost of running your car

The festive period is typically an expensive time of year, swiftly followed by many of us tightening our belts in January. For drivers, the cost of running a car is one of their biggest monthly outgoings, but surprisingly few of us consider how to cut down on those costs. So, in the new year, how can you save as many pennies as possible on your vehicle?

Check your insurance policy

Every car in the UK must have appropriate insurance – it’s non-negotiable. However, if you don’t shop around for insurance deals, you could be paying over the odds for your policy. Using a price comparison website to compare deals only takes a matter of minutes, but could end up saving you a small fortune. If you’re on the lookout for a new car, bear in mind that certain cars will attract higher premiums than others. New, high-performance cars will be more expensive to insure due to the increased costs associated with fixing or replacing them, so aren’t ideal if you’re hoping to only spend the bare minimum on insurance!

If you’re a new or young driver, getting a black box fitted – otherwise known as telematics – could bring down insurance costs. Statistically, young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, so black boxes provide a cheaper deal by delivering premiums based on driving style, rather than stats. Adding another experienced driver to the policy could also bring down costs significantly.

Keep an eye on fuel

Quite simply, the faster you drive, the greater your fuel consumption will be, but this isn’t the only way to preserve your fuel. How you drive also affects it – aggressive stopping and starting, driving in too low a gear and over-revving the engine all guzzle fuel. Removing unnecessary weight from the vehicle, such as removing roof racks and clearing out your boot can have a significant impact on fuel consumption – getting rid of the roof racks alone impacts consumption by around 10 per cent. Turning on air conditioning drains power from the engine, so don’t use it unless absolutely necessary. Make sure that your tyres are fully inflated, too, to save the engine having to work even harder to get your vehicle going.

Just like shopping around for an insurance policy, it can pay to seek out the cheapest fuel prices in your area, as even saving 5p on a litre adds up. Some supermarkets even offer discounts at their fuel stations if you reach a minimum spend in store, so don’t throw away your receipts! If you’re going on a long trip, fill up beforehand – fuel stations on motorways can be significantly more expensive.

Maintenance is key

Car making a suspicious rattling sound? Gears starting to grind? It could be expensive to fix problems with your car when they crop up, but ultimately it’ll cost a lot more when it gets worse! Make sure that you service your car regularly and never skip any maintenance appointments. You can still ask around for the best price, but do ensure that you are getting your car fixed by a reputable garage that uses parts approved by the manufacturer. Caring for your vehicle will save money in the long run, so keep it in good shape.

The right finance plan

Why spend more than you need to on car finance? If you’re looking for a car loan, we offer great finance rates from a huge range of lenders, so that we can offer you the best deal. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you to secure the car of your dreams.

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