15 Ways to Save on your Driving
How to save money after financing a car
Whether you've just took out finance on your 5th or 1st car, you may be surprised at some of the additional costs you may incur once you get your wheels on the road - most of these can be a surprise if the right steps aren't taken to budget and plan ahead.
To help with ways of reducing costs and to keep spending on your vehicle down, we've put together some of the best ways to reduce the costs of driving in order to save you as much money as possible!
If you have a standard petrol or diesel car you could save money by trying to drive under 30mph as much as possible, or at least keep your speeds consistent and controlled. This works out to be better for the environment for emissions, which means you’re saving on both fuel usage and saving the planet!
If you need any repair work, asking friends and family for any recommendations can end up cheaper and simpler. As long as the garage is reputable and reliable, being a friend of a loyal customer may mean you could get some reduced rates and be seen earlier.
Remember, the first port of call would be to check your vehicles warranty first so that if work is needed it may be covered, or if any work is carried out at an unsupported garage, it may be void - this could lead to a more expensive final bill, without any coverage from your warranty.
Keep it Safe
Your insurance may be lower in price if you park your car in a driveway or garage as this acts as another level of car security - If you've got one, use it!
Use Another Car
Being insured on another vehicle could bring down your premium, as it demonstrates to your insurer you don’t use one car all the time, and that others view you as a trusted driver. Beware though, it could end up more expensive depending on insurance providers, so do your research and shop around!
Use In-car Technology
A lot of newer vehicles are now equipped with technology that helps improve their efficiency, such as fuel economy and the quickest route to follow to your destination. Your vehicle may also alert you to change gear, or help with parking in a tight space - make use of this where possible as they can save fuel and time, but also protect your car from damage, which again can lead to costly repairs.
Have Regular Services
Just like your own doctors appointments, get into the habit of regular services to ensure your car is in the best possible working condition and arising issues are spotted easily. This could help reduce any potential future problems which amount to shocking unexpected bills when left without repair.
Reducing the weight of your load will have a positive impact on fuel efficiency. Take off any unused roof boxes, bike racks or even remove random items out of the boot to use less fuel when you travel.
Plan Journeys Carefully
Invest in a sat nav or use the a map app on your smartphone along with an in-car phone holder. This will save fuel as you use the most direct, traffic-free route whilst saving yourself the embarrassment of asking for directions!
Walk or Use Public Transport
As simple as it sounds, the easiest way to keep driving costs down is by, well, not driving at all! Whilst it may sound counterproductive if you’ve just invested in a car but sometimes walking, taking the bus or train can be cheaper, especially on short journeys which may have bus lanes and tram lines to break through the traffic you may be queuing in during rush hour especially.
Make sure you still use your vehicle though, as you don’t your car battery to could go flat.
It is more efficient to keep your car moving, as braking turns fuel into thermal waste. Try to void sudden braking, and instead slow down to a roll and stay a good distance behind other vehicles.
Stick to Speed Limits
This one’s simple: the faster you go the more fuel is used. Not only are speed limits essential for drivers’ safety, they also act as a good guide for fuel usage. Driving at 50mph, for example, saves up to 15% more fuel than at 60mph! It is also good to note that fluctuating between speeds can be just as bad for fuel. Try and staying at a constant speed, with minimal sudden braking.
To save time and effort (as well as fuel) combine short stops into one journey. Visiting a friend? Why not go shopping on the way back instead of waiting until the next day? Once you're out, stay out, to avoid having to 'pop' out later and restart your engine unnecessarily.
Analyse Fuel Usage
Keep a note of how much you are spending on fuel each week to see how your fuel costs change each week depending on what you got up to. This way you can get a grip on which driving habits help you to spend less on fuel each week.
Its also great to note that depending on your vehicle you could save money by only filling up from an empty tank rather than putting in a couple of quid each week. You can get a better idea of this once you start to analyse spending and petrol usage each week or few days.
Shop Around for Insurance
Insurance will probably be the most expensive running cost aside from fuel, so using price comparison sites for the cheapest option is a simple way to reduce this cost. Make sure when you are using filters on these sites to refine your search you are totally honest and realistic.
Add Extra Drivers
Another way to cut down on insurance can be to add other drivers to your policy, with parents and other experienced drivers being the best choices. Make sure that you’re aware of any restrictions this could add to your policy and don’t be tempted to add someone else as the main driver if they’re not. This may be a short term benefit in reducing the cost, however this could end up invalidating your insurance when you actually come to use it.
These tips should help you keep the costs of driving down after purchasing your car on finance. Head over to our Facebook or Twitter to let us know of any tips and hacks you have to save money on the cost of driving, we’d love to hear and share as many tips as possible!
Images courtesy of iStock.