With Christmas rapidly approaching, and it being notoriously one of the most expensive times of year, you’ll understandably want to be saving as much money as you possibly can!
In most households, the family car is often the biggest expense which needs to be considered, so we’ve gathered some money-saving driving tips to help you out. This article covers 10 easy driving tips that can help you reduce costs this season, as well as ensure that your car will be safe throughout the winter months.
1. Don’t always opt for the cheapest tyres
Have you checked your tyres recently? When we need new tyres, we often think that going for the cheapest tyres is the best option, but in the long run it might actually end up costing you more. Decent tyres can help you improve your fuel economy and increase the duration of the tyres, meaning you won’t have to fork out to replace them so often.
Research conducted by Which? found that a quality ‘eco’ tyre could improve fuel economy by around 2.5mpg compared with the cheaper alternative. Over a year this could help you save around £50 off your annual petrol expenditure.
2. Drive gently when the car is cold
Cars are less efficient when they are cold. If you set off quickly straight from start-up, you are doubling the wasted fuel, and also wearing out the engine more quickly in the process. Just take your time and allow your car to heat up properly before setting off.
3. Hunt out for the cheapest fuel
If you’re looking for the cheapest fuel, we recommend you get to know the petrol stations in your local area and make a mental note of the price per litre as you drive by. You can easily find a difference of a few pence in the same areas, which might make it worth a small detour to make a bigger saving.
4. Don’t use your windscreen wipers on ice
We can often be tempted to whack on the windscreen wipers to help de-ice our cars in the winter. However, the ice can wear them out very quickly and you’re even at a higher risk of tearing them which can set you back around £20 for replacements.
Instead, be patient and scrape the ice off with an ice-scraper or de-icer which you can pick up for as little as £1 from your local supermarket.
5. Seek out the best price on car insurance
Although it is vital, car insurance can be one of the biggest motoring costs you face annually. Despite this, it’s important to not just auto-renew your insurance policy as you can almost always find a cheaper deal online, or by phoning up your insurance company. It’s easy to find deals on comparison sites like Compare the Market, which can help you save money on your car and often also offer other benefits such as restaurant vouchers to help you save money in other ways too.
It’s also important to note the savings made when you buy insurance annually rather than smaller monthly payments. Although the small payments might seem more manageable, you could be paying about 20% more than if you paid annually.
6. Don’t drive up and down curbs
It’s amazing how many people drive their cars up and down kerbs, whether it’s to park on the side of the road, or when dropping someone off. The damage caused to the alloy wheel, metal wire and the actual tyre could eventually lead to a puncture, or can wear your tyres out quicker than expected.
Not only will avoiding driving up and down kerbs save you money, but it will also keep you safe.
Need new tyres? Contact Rangers Garage, an independent car garage in Sailsbury, who can fit new tyres at competitive prices. Learn more about our services here >>
7. Pay for your tax annually not monthly
Similar to your car insurance, you are able to pay your car tax by paying monthly, bi-annually and annually. You may think to pay for it monthly as it will split the total into smaller, more manageable payments. However, doing this can actually work out more expensive over the entire year. Pay the full amount at the start of the year and be comfortable that you don’t need to think about it again for another 12 months.
8. Park away from other cars
If your car is on finance, it will be assessed on the condition before you hand it back. You’ll be charged if there are any marks or scratches on the vehicle.
An easy way to reduce the risk of damage it to park away from other cars, so their car doors can’t damage it, and they can’t scrape it when driving in and out. Remember, even small car park panel dings are logged by the dealer on the condition report. It’s better to be safe than sorry, even if that means a slightly longer walk!
9. Empty your boot and ditch the roof rack
We understand that a few of you might be storing all your Christmas gifts in your car boot or roof storage to try and stop the little ones from peeking at their gifts, but it could actually be costing you more than you think!
According to the RAC, every 50kg will increase your fuel consumption by 2%, meaning you’ll be spending more on fuel, but possibly getting less miles out of it!
10. Prepare your car before an MOT
Research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders states that approximately 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT each year, due to simple things such as low tyre tread, empty washer fluids and bulbs not working.
No matter how simple these fixes are, the garage won’t rectify them before completing the MOT, and will fail you for the most minor faults. Why would you risk the inconvenience and potential costly expense when you can check these before taking in your car? By doing this you could save on your MOT, which will reduce your car funding overall!
Visit Rangers Garage, your local independent car garage
We won’t be able to do your Christmas shopping for you, but we hope we hope these driving tips will help you save some money to put towards it!
If you want to make some changes to improve your vehicle, our experienced team of technicians will be more than happy to book you in for a car service or MOT. Give us a call on 01980 655555 or contact us here to speak to our team.
Book your winter car service at Rangers Garage for only £45! We will check your fluid levels, tyres and bulbs to ensure your car is safe this season.
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