Looking to save on car costs? You’re not alone. On average, cars cost Brits more than £3,000 a year in insurance, fuel, and maintenance. This doesn’t even include the cost of financing the car.
To help you cut down on costs, car dealership company Peter Vardy recently released seven tips that can save you up to £1,709 on car costs. Let’s take a look.
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1. Name somebody else on your policy
Car insurance can be really expensive, especially if you’re a new driver. One way to reduce insurance costs is to add a second, more experienced driver to your policy. Adding another responsible driver to your policy could save you as much as £1,000.
You can also save on car insurance by keeping your driving licence clean. A good driving record will make you look safer to the insurance companies, opening up lower-priced policies.
Yearly savings: £800-£1,000
2. Skip premium fuels
Premium petrol might sound tempting, but in most cases, you’ll pay 10p more per litre and see no benefits. When in doubt, check your car owner’s manual to see the right octane level (regular or premium) for your car. Most cars will do just fine if you’re using standard fuels, according to Peter Vardy.
The only time you might want to consider premium fuel is if you have a high-performance vehicle such as certain Ferrari, McLaren or Aston Martin models.
Yearly savings: £180
3. Haggle for better insurance quotes
Peter Vardy points out this is a great way to save on car costs, especially if your renewal is coming up soon. Research suggests up to 37% of those who pick up the phone have success haggling for cheaper insurance rates.
To improve your chances of a positive outcome, spend some time online comparing your policy with policies offered by other providers. Are you getting similar coverage? Do other companies offer much lower prices? Asking your insurance provider to match a deal you found online is a great first step.
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4. Fill up at the supermarket
Next time you go shopping at Sainsbury’s or Morrisons, fill up your tank at their petrol station. Supermarket fuel must adhere to the same quality standards as branded products, so it will not damage your car.
Branded fuel does have extra additives to improve vehicle efficiency, but this is usually only significant if you’re buying premium fuel.
Yearly savings: £74
5. Take over some of the regular car maintenance checks
Spotting wear and tear and conducting regular checks can alert you to problems before they get too serious, according to Peter Vardy.
To save on car costs, the Money Advice Service suggests learning basic maintenance such as knowing how to check your car’s oil level, change the air filter, check the pressure and tread depth of your tyres and touch up small paint issues.
You should also wash your car regularly, as everything from bird droppings to road salt can damage the paintwork.
Yearly savings: £574
6. Use cashback cards on fuel
A great way to save on car costs is to get a cashback card like Santander’s 123. These give you 3% every time you fill up. How much you save depends on how much you’re driving in the first place, but even filling up twice a month will save you £52.68 over the course of a year.
Yearly Savings: Up to £53 per year
7. Pay your road tax annually
Sure, paying monthly hurts a little less in the short term, but there’s a discount if you pay the full year upfront.
Thinking of changing your car soon? Consider getting one that runs on alternative fuels next time, as this also reduces your road tax costs.
Yearly Savings: Up to £29 per year
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