In these difficult and costly times everyone is looking for ways to save money to weather the current cost of living storm. At Total Car Check we know the risks and costs associated with buying a used car. But on top of the initial purchase UK motorists spend on average £3,500 a year running their vehicle’s. There are lots of ways to reduce this spend. We cover our top 5 below.
1. Reduce the load
The more a vehicle carries in weight the lower its miles per gallon performance will be. So if you have anything heavy in the boot that doesn’t need to be in there then remove it! For every 100 pounds of weight removed from a car you can expect up to a 2% increase in fuel efficiency.
2. Pump it up
If your tyres are flatter than they should be then there is more drag when you drive e.g. your engine has to work harder to move the car. According to a study in the US – under inflation of your tyres by 10% can increase fuel consumption by 2%. You can check the air pressure of your tyres and pump them up for free at petrol stations.
3. Insurance shopping
Shopping around for a new motor insurance policy each year could save you a significant sum of money. Make sure that when you receive your annual renewal letter that you hit the insurance comparison websites and also visit a few of the direct insurers too (that do not participate on the comparison websites). The financial regulator has made some helpful changes to the way insurance pricing works for consumers. But even so it is still worth checking the market to get the lowest price you can for the cover you need.
4. Smooth driving
Low rev driving can lead to huge savings. This effectively means accelerating slowly and changing gears before the rev counter gets into the red zone and the engine makes a racket. The optimal speed for fuel efficiency is 40-50 miles an hour for most cars (not that we recommend you drive this speed all the time!). Smoother driving can lead to up to 25% fuel efficiency savings depending on how you drive currently. It can can also result in lower car insurance and maintenance costs.
5. Maintenance and servicing
Keeping your vehicle in good condition is important to avoid any excessive repair costs in future. It is a false economy to attempt to save money by not servicing the vehicle or not replacing parts that are worn (like your tyres). This could result in the vehicle not passing its MOT, further mechanical work needed and more chance it will break down. The basic maintenance requirements: Ensure you service the vehicle once a year; check your tyres have sufficient tread; and top up engine oil and fluids where required. In most modern cars a dashboard warning light will come on where fluid levels are low.