The busy time of Christmas is fast approaching. This means saving up for presents, food and decorations. We have put together some simple ways you can save money on your car, so you can spend a little extra on those who matter.
While driving, try to keep your car as aerodynamic as possible. Keep windows closed at high speeds and remove roof racks when they’re not being used. The Money Advice Service states that “removing a roof-top cargo box can save as much as 20% on fuel over a year”. You can also remove any unnecessary items in your car. Things such as a child’s car seat or a pet’s crate may make the car heavier, which will use more fuel.
Find cheaper parking
Try to avoid parking in the closest car park you can find as these tend to be more expensive. Although it may be a lot more convenient, all the tickets will add up over time. Look up cheaper car parks in the area, or simply park on the edge of the town. Again, this will be great for your fitness. Think about parking away from other cars too. This will avoid any scratches and dents, as well as a trip to your mechanic for repairs.
Many people warm up their cars (also known as idling) on a cold morning. However, this won’t do your car any good, and it doesn’t actually work. Idling wastes fuel and your car’s battery. It also sends nasty greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The best and most fuel-efficient way to warm your car up is to just drive, as the engine will warm up your car much faster when it’s working. Start off slowly and your car will be nice and warm in no time.
Tyres are very important parts of your car as they are what stands between you and the road. Keep your tyres well looked-after. This means checking tyre pressures on a regular basis – the lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel is used. Ensure the tread depth is more than 1.6mm deep. You can easily check this by taking a 20p coin and placing it in the grooves between the tread. Around the circumference of the coin is a raised band, if this band is showing, your tyres need replacing. It’s worth investing in good tyres that are more likely to last you longer.
Driving fast may get you home sooner, but did you know it will cost you more? Fast driving increases drag, which as a result increases fuel consumption. Sticking to the speed limit and smooth driving will use your fuel more efficiently. Excessive braking will also use your fuel up faster, as well as wear away your brake pads. Be sure to keep a good distance between you and the car in front – especially in heavy traffic. If they stop suddenly, you’ll have time to brake slowly and carefully.
Yes, it may be a given, driving less will definitely decrease the amount of money you are spending on your car. We don’t just mean cut out driving completely as we understand it may be pretty tough to live life without a car – especially in winter! But why not consider walking or cycling if you only need to travel a short distance. Not only is it better for your bank, but also great for the environment, and your fitness.
It’s a cold day and your windscreen has completely frozen over. The one thing that you shouldn’t do is use your windscreen wipers to clear it. Firstly, it probably won’t work, or it’ll take a very long time to clear. Secondly, it will seriously damage your wipers. You’re then at risk of having to pay for them to be replaced. Although this isn’t an awful lot, it’s still an expense that you’d want to avoid. Be sure to scrape the windscreen or use a de-icer in the morning before setting off on your journey. Want to know more about how to check and replace windscreen wipers? Be sure to read our blog for simple tips and tricks.
It’s always good to plan your journey in advance, but how does this help save money you ask? Well, planning your route can be more fuel-efficient as you can work out which way is longer or shorter. However, a shorter route may not necessarily mean less fuel used. Take the route which has the fewest traffic lights, stop signs and the one less likely to have traffic. It may also be a good idea to plan when you go to get petrol. Don’t wait until your tank is completely empty as you could be stuck paying a hefty amount in one go. This can allow you to take advantage of a supermarket loyalty card – the more you fill up, the more points on your card!
Book a service
It is important to have your car serviced regularly. This will point out any problems, and allow you to fix them early, before they become too big and expensive. Although booking a service will cost, it’ll be cheaper than paying for a pricey repair. It’s also a good idea to check for any obvious faults before your car goes in for it’s MOT.
“Industry data reveals that around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT each year as a result of simple issues such as faulty bulbs, too little tyre tread, or even empty windscreen washer fluid bottles – small repairs that could have been easily identified by the owner prior to the annual test”
If you would like to book a service, you can use our quick and easy online booking tool. Just type in your postcode and registration number, and we’ll do the rest for you. We give you the price, distance and reviews of over 8,000 garages. We promise to find you the best garage that will suit all your needs, at a reasonable price. So, why wait? Contact us today for more information!
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.