One announcement the UK government has made over the last few months, that hasn’t been regarding the endless flip flopping over Brexit, is that austerity is over. However, whether this is being felt by the average person in the street is another matter entirely.

Who knows, the financial situation in the UK may start to improve in time, but there currently remains a need for caution, especially whilst our future relationship with the EU is still very much up in the air.

There are many ways we can reduce spending in our daily lives, but one area where a significant reduction in outgoings can be made is the monthly costs associated with driving. Here are three ways the costs relating to your car can be reduced.

Long term car leasing

The monthly outgoing for car finance, or for paying off a bank loan that has been used to purchase a car, can be a significant monthly burden. It can also be galling that the vehicle you are trying to pay off is continually depreciating as you do so. With this is mind, long term car leasing is an attractive alternative which can substantially reduce your outgoing costs throughout the year.

Not only will car leasing allow you access to a similar or the same car for less (which you can treat as your own) but vehicle warranty, breakdown cover and road tax are also included within the monthly fee.

Reducing petrol costs

According to the RAC fuel watch, petrol prices rose for the 2nd month in a row in March. This will have hit the pockets of anyone who commutes to work on a regular basis, but there are a few ways to manage this and potentially lessen the impact.

– ‘Find a Petrol’ station smartphone apps –

‘Find a Petrol’ smart phone apps such as PetrolPrice (available on iPhone and Google Play) allow you to search for the cheapest petrol prices within your local vicinity. Detailed information on each station and a route finder is also provided. The makers of the app claim that users can save up to £240 a year by doing so.

– Smarter driving –

There is a dual benefit to smarter driving. Not only can it reduce your outgoing petrol costs, but it will also reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Here is a summary of driving behaviours and their impact on fuel consumption from the EasyEarth website;

Driving behaviour Increase of fuel consumption Solution
‘Jack Rabbit’ starts Up to 40% Accelerate slowly and smoothly, get into high gear as quickly as possible
Hard braking Up to 40% Anticipate traffic flow and coast to decelerate
Speeding (55mph to 75mph) Up to 20% Driving at 55mph rather than 65mph improves gas mileage by 10-15%
Idling in Summer & Winter Fuel wastage If stopping for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic, turn off the engine
Driving in a lower gear than required Fuel wastage Change up through the gears and into top gear as soon as possible, without accelerating harder than necessary
Using air conditioning unnecessarily in older cars Up to 10% Open a window at low speeds or use the flow-through ventilation on your car instead of the air conditioner
Driving with tyres that aren’t properly inflated Up to 6% Check tyre pressure at least once a month, when the tyres are cold. Add air to any tyre that is underinflated according to the car’s operator manual
Driving with a poorly tuned engine Up to 50% Service your vehicle according to manufacturer’s instructions

By amending your driving behaviour in accordance with the recommendations above, you should be able to save yourself money whist also helping to save the planet!

Reducing insurance costs

Whether it is gas & electricity, mobile contracts or car insurance, many of us are guilty of paying over the odds for various services simply out of renewal lethargy i.e. the hassle of switching compared to simply carrying on with the same provider. But with the rise of comparison sites, switching your car insurance and other amenities is now easier than ever. By taking just a few hours to look into comparisons, significant savings can be made by either switching to a cheaper provider or threating to leave your current provider unless the cost of your contract is reduced.

Other ways to reduce car insurance costs include paying a one off annual payment rather than on a monthly basis, protecting your no claims bonus and implementing precautions to reduce the chances of your car being stolen i.e. using an immobiliser or keeping it in a garage. Some insurance providers will also reduce your premiums if you agree to a dash cam or black box to monitor your driving behaviour.




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