Tips to reduce vehicle running costs

When considering vehicle costs, the first thing that comes to mind is the purchase price, with the everyday running costs often not thought of until later. While this is an easy trap to fall into, it is important to consider your vehicle running costs before purchasing a car as expenses can easily snowball. One way to avoid this is to actively reduce all vehicle costs including insurance, tyres, servicing and fuel. We take a look at some simple tips to make running your car as cost effective as possible.

Insurance

  • Choosing the right level of cover for your needs – whether you chose third party or comprehensive insurance, be sure to read through the policy to ensure that you are not paying for additional  services you don’t need.
  • Review your policy yearly – Instead of simply renewing your insurance annually, shop around to see if you can get a cheaper price elsewhere. Insurers will often price match if you find a cheaper price with another provider so it’s always a good idea to ask.
  • Look at your excess – Is your insurance excess level right for you? Increasing your excess level can help reduce your premium.
  • Update your policy when your circumstances change – Do you have drivers listed on your policy that are young or have recorded incidents that no longer use your vehicle? Is your car still under finance? Be sure to update your insurer when your situation changes as this may save you money on your premium.

Tyres

  • Choose the most appropriate tyres for your needs – Do you really need high performance tyres for every day city driving? You may be able to save money with ordinary standard tyres, which still provide adequate safety.
  • Keep tyres correctly inflated – Check your tyre pressure often to ensure it is in the optimal range for your driving conditions and vehicle. If in doubt check with the vehicle or tyre manufacturers, as having the correct tyre pressure can improve your fuel economy.
  • Replace your tyres when needed - Although replacing tyres can seem costly, having unsafe tyres can have serious safety implications.
  • Get your wheels aligned as part of your vehicle service – Like correctly inflated tyres, having your wheels regularly aligned will help improve fuel economy.

Servicing

  • Shop around for the best capped price servicing deal – Many car makers have capped price servicing scheme, making budgeting ongoing costs easier. When choosing a car based on the servicing scheme offered, it can pay to shop around as they are not all created equal in terms of savings.
  • Don’t skip required services – While under-servicing your car may save money in the short term, it will ultimately cost you in the long run, as what may start out as small mechanical issues could become big ones. Your car will also run more efficiently if you get it serviced regularly.

Find out more

Find out more

  • Be aware of all servicing needs – have a look at our article on what is involved in a vehicle service to see if your provider is charging you for additional services you may not need.

Fuel

  • Watch your driving style – the way you drive can drastically reduce your fuel consumption – driving conservatively for the first few minutes of your journey while your engine warms up, accelerating gently from a complete stop and avoiding lengthy idling periods will all help cut your fuel usage.

Wrap-up

Although looking at all your vehicle running costs together may seem a little daunting, there are plenty of easy tactics to adopt that will reduce your expenses. Minimising your expenses in the areas of insurance, tyres, servicing and fuel can make running your car much more affordable and therefore make enjoying your car a much more rewarding experience!

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