Now is not an easy time to be a car owner. We’ve never seen a time when fuel was this expensive and we still don’t know how much more expensive it will get. If you are already on a shoestring budget, then you have probably thought about giving up driving altogether but know that you don’t have to. And, even if you aren’t strapped for cash, it would be wise for you to start looking at ways to reduce your car-related costs to give yourself some additional breathing space. Let’s take a look at a few simple ways that you could cut your car-related costs.
The first thing you have to know is that your driving habits have a direct influence on how much or how little fuel you consume. Things like idling, fast acceleration, and route inclination will all make a big difference there. So, get in the habit of shutting down your engine at stoplights, accelerating smoothly and using the car’s latent energy instead of constantly pressing on the accelerator. Also, pick routes with as little elevation as possible.
Another thing you should do is constantly keep an eye on your tyre pressure. You might not know this, but deflated tyres cause a lot more friction and require a lot more energy from the vehicle. And, if you don’t believe us, try riding a bicycle with deflated tyres and see how tiring it is compared to riding one with fully inflated tyres.
You can find the ideal air pressure marked on most tyres, but it’s usually around the 32 to 35psi mark. This is something you can easily check with a tyre pressure gauge which can be found in virtually any hardware store for a few pounds.
For some people, high fuel costs mean that they’ll have no choice but to consider options outside of driving. You may not have to give up your car entirely, however. If you have to drive from outside the city to work and have to take a route that passes over a toll bridge or road, for instance, see if you can park your car near a train station and take the train from there. We also suggest that you invest in a good bicycle with some cargo space. This will allow you to run local errands without having to use your car even if the area you live in doesn’t have many public transit options.
Simple lifestyle changes like using a Park & Ride rather than driving into a city centre will make a lot of difference. If you can cycle to work rather than take the car, not only will it save you money but you will be healthier too. And fitter!
If you’ve never truly shopped for car insurance and you picked your current insurer because they were recommended to you, there’s a strong chance that you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere. If you want to see what kind of deals you could get, you should check out a car insurance comparison platform such as CompareNI.com. Not only will you be able to compare quotes right on their site, but you can make the switch to your new policy as well.
Shop Around for Fuel
Fuel is expensive these days, and the price of petrol and diesel is rising all the time. Filling up your car at the local petrol station is not always the cheapest option. Smaller, independent petrol stations charge more for their fuel than supermarkets do. Where possible, buy your fuel from the supermarket petrol stations, as these tend to be cheaper.
Use an online fuel price comparison tool to compare forecourt prices in the local area. A difference of two pence or more per litre on a full tank can make a difference to your wallet.
Never fill up on the motorway if you can avoid doing so. Motorway service stations are the most expensive and will often charge 10 pence a litre more than anywhere else.
Are there journeys you can do where you share the cost of fuel with someone else? Look into the possibility of a car sharing scheme if you work for a large organisation. This works out well when other people live local to you and your shift patterns are the same. You can take it in turns to drive to work and thus save money at the same time.
Driving a car is very expensive these days, but there are always ways to save money on the cost of car ownership. Make sure that you look over your budget and see if you can still afford a car and follow our tips to make things easier for you if you decide to keep yours.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.