The summer time calls for a road trip, late nights and time with the family. But it all comes at a cost. Here are our top 10 ways you can cut the cost of driving this summer.
1. Conduct regular maintenance checks
We get it, regular vehicle checks may seem a drag, and there’s never a convenient time to do them. However, conducting them regularly can save you a lot of money in the long run. The more checks that you conduct, the lower chance of a breakdown you’ll have and the smoother your car will run. Not only will this save you money, but it can also save you a lot of time in the future.
According to The Sun, research has found that motorists spend an average of 44 hours each year searching for parking spaces. This equates to £733 per person in wasted time, fuel and emissions. To save yourself some money, park outside of the town or city for guaranteed cheaper parking. You’re also more likely to find a space which means less fuel used. Although it may seem a bit of a hassle, and further to walk, think about the money you could save in the long run.
3. AC or windows?
Statistically, neither is good for your car. Opening the windows will increase drag, slowing down the car and using up more fuel. Running the AC will put an extra load on the engine which again will result in more fuel. It’s estimated that it can be more efficient to drive with the windows down when travelling around 50mph or lower. If you’re driving any faster than this, it’s recommended that you close the windows and put the AC on.
4. Plan ahead
Try to plan your journeys at a time when it isn’t going to be busy. The shortest route may not always be the most efficient. Go for the route with the least traffic lights, junctions or chance of build-up. These things are more likely to cause a delay in your journey, meaning more fuel will be used. Plan your trips in advance and try to take one big trip rather than smaller separate ones.
5. Book your vehicle in for a service
Having a regular service conducted on your car will have a huge impact on running costs in the long run. A mechanic will be able to find and repair any issues before they turn into bigger and more expensive problems. You can book your vehicle in for a reliable service using our quick, easy and free online booking tool. Here, you can compare the price, distance and reviews of thousands of garages on our directory.
6. Don’t overpack
If you’re planning a long trip away, it’s important not to overpack, which we know is hard to do. Overloading your vehicle can put a strain on the tyres but can also obstruct your view. The heavier the vehicle, the more work it’s having to do meaning more fuel is used. If you’re planning a trip, assess which items are necessary and try to limit the amount of space used.
7. Replace the fluids
It’s recommended that the fluids in your vehicle’s system should be flushed away and replaced at least once every two years. The fluids we’re talking about include power steering, brake and cooling system antifreeze fluids. Components may get damaged if the fluids degrade and can no longer provide the protection they are supposed to.. Replacing the fluids regularly will therefore help you save money because these types of repairs can be very expensive.
8. Change the oil
Much like the fluids, the engine oil can degrade over time. Replacing the engine oil will ensure the engine stays running smoothly, prolonging its life. Refer to your vehicle handbook to see how regularly you should change your oil. Doing this could extend your vehicle’s lifespan by up to 200,000 extra miles!
9. Change the air filter
An old and clogged air filter can reduce the amount of air entering the engine. It can have an impact on the performance of your vehicle and increase emissions. Fortunately, changing the air filter is a quick, easy and affordable job that will have a massive impact. It’s recommended that you change the air filter once every 12,000 miles.
10. Summer tyres
Summer tyres will guarantee the maximum safety for your vehicle. They’re a lot more responsive and offer good steering ability as well as being economical. Summer tyres can help to reduce fuel consumption, helping you to save money. They even offer lower noise level and enhanced comfort, maximising your driving experience.
We hope that these tips were helpful and will save you some money this summer. Check out our blog on how to prevent the most common causes of car breakdowns and stay safe this summer. If you do discover a problem with your vehicle, or it’s due an MOT, be sure to book an appointment with a reliable and professional garage. You can use our quick, easy and free online booking tool which is available 24/7.
Libby has been working for BookMyGarage writing articles, creating newsletters and handling the social media platforms. She works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts to provide weekly blogs: essential advice on how to care for your car, need-to-know news and developments in the motoring world and helpful tips on how to cut the costs of running and maintaining your car.