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How to Cut Down on Car Costs

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 17 Mar 2011 | comments*Discuss
Fuel Consumption Roadside Recovery

Running a car has become a major expense, especially with the ever increasing fuel prices. Drivers can use certain methods to not only decrease fuel consumption but to also reduce other costs when running a car throughout the year.

Trade In the Petrol Guzzling Car

Fuel prices are now at their highest level and do not look likely to decrease in the near future. Filling that tank is now a huge expense for most motorists, and cars that drink fuel are quickly going out of fashion. Smaller cars do not weigh as much as the bigger models and fuel consumption can be as much as 50% less than larger cars. Choose a car by actual requirements rather than desires. Dropping down to a less powerful car can also save on insurance costs as well as fuel consumption.

Seek Out the Lowest Fuel Prices

With diesel and petrol prices increasing it is important to achieve the best prices available. The internet will be of use when it comes to sourcing out the best fuel prices in the local area. There are actually petrol comparison sites on the internet that will give updated prices on a range of petrol stations including supermarkets. Prices are changing regularly so it is important to check on these sites daily. Remember, do not fill a car tank completely; more fuel in the tank means a heavier car and this will increase fuel consumption.

Two Can Pay For Car Fuel Cheaper than One

Car pooling is one of the most cost effective ways of cutting fuel costs. Whether it is employees who are sharing a car when driving to work or neighbours taking their kids to school this is an excellent fuel saving tactic. Car pooling can also be used during the weekly supermarket trip. Drivers who are car pooling can take turns using their cars each week or use the car which has the lowest fuel consumption. Car pooling can greatly decrease the running expense over the course of a year and is better for the environment.

Change Your Driving Habits

The way a car is driven can make a significant difference to fuel consumption. Streamlining a car simply means shutting windows whilst driving and removing roof racks, and this will save on fuel consumption. Make sure tyres are properly inflated and avoid using the air conditioning when driving. Driving at 55mph rather than 70mph will cut fuel consumption by 20%. Avoiding allowing cars to idle on cold mornings; this wastes fuel every day.

Shop Around for the Best Insurance Quotes

Insurance is a big expense each year but it is also a necessity. Insurers are competitive and they will always try to beat their rivals in order to obtain an extra customer. If insurance is up for renewal, always shop around and obtain quotes from different insurers. Consider negotiating with present insurers if rivals have offered lower insurance quotes. Insurers won’t offer a lower quote to a customer they have had for years but they may be more likely to if they think they are going to lose a customer.

Undertake Your Own Car Repairs

This tactic will not be for everyone but a driver who has the basic car mechanic skills can save a lot of money. Let’s face it, some people would actually have trouble changing a car wheel and will pay a garage or roadside recovery to do this. It doesn’t cost much or take long to learn the basics of car mechanics and there are usually classes available at local colleges. Minor repairs can usually be undertaken once the knowledge has been gained. Learning the basics can be a big money saver especially for families that run two cars.

Do You Actually Need Roadside Recovery?

Roadside recovery is another expense but is it actually cost effective? Many people have some form of roadside recovery as a safety back-up but never actually use it. Anyone who lives in a city or town is unlikely to require a roadside recover service; if a car breaks down in a city, a garage will tow it to their premises for repairs. If you do actually think that this service is essential then make sure to shop around for the best prices. Look out for special deals where basic roadside recovery prices can be had for as little as £10 per year.

The expense of running a car is no joke and can take a huge chunk out of the monthly household budget. UK drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the rapidly rising car fuel costs. As petrol prices look set to increase the only option open to drivers will be to find more economical ways to run their cars.

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