Cars are a unique investment for most users that can paradoxically both save and cost you money. They can help cut the cost of using public transport and hiring taxis when you need to get around. You can also slash grocery bills by buying in bulk from cheaper superstores. But even when you’ve bought your car, just keeping it on the road can negatively impact your finances. Take a good long look at how much you’re spending on your car and you might find some easy savings.
The price of petrol and diesel has skyrocketed in recent years. While comparison websites are available to find the cheapest forecourts near you, the slim differences mean you’re unlikely to make big savings. Instead, take care of your car and it’ll take care of your wallet. Keep your tyres correctly inflated, ditch heavy clutter and unnecessary attachments, and watch your air conditioning use to reduce fuel consumption. Driving more smoothly can make a big difference too – the key is to drive efficiency and not waste power. Every time you press too hard on the gas and hear the engine roar, you’re burning money for no reason!
The air pressure in your tires can impact the condition of your car. Know the ideal pressure needed by your tires and inflate them properly. You can find out about it on the car manual. If not, look for a sticker on the door jamb in the driver’s side or in the glove compartment box. Look for the tire inflation pressure. Remember though that you shouldn’t use the maximum pressure that you find on the tire’s sidewall. Too much of it can make your tire touch the ground less and cause it to bounce. Right pressure will keep it on the ground to help you avoid traction problems and improve your gas mileage. Not only will it save you from expenses from car repairs but it will also keep your car stable and safer.
Insurance can dwarf any other running cost, particularly for younger drivers. Make sure you cast a wide net when looking for insurance – certain insurers might be able to give you better cover based on your circumstances, and your existing provider won’t always be the cheapest. Some drivers try to save by opting for third party coverage only – the legal minimum – but this can prove to be unwise, as third party coverage is often more expensive than comprehensive cover. And though options like breakdown and legal cover – available from AXA Car Insurance – might add a little extra to your premiums, they can save a lot of money in the long run.
Maintenance and servicing
Why shell out cash to a mechanic when you can learn to fix your car yourself? You don’t need to be an expert on cars to perform a little precautionary maintenance: the automobile equivalent of eating healthily and visiting the gym. Keeping oil and coolant topped up regularly can prevent bigger, costlier problems, and simply checking the lights and replacing any broken bulbs can help save the price of getting a mechanic to do it. If something a bit more complicated goes wrong, take a look online for cheap replacement parts and see if you can find a mechanic to install them.
***Photo thanks to Tax Credits and Creative Commons***