Skip to main content

Cars have never been particularly cheap to run.  Right now, however, the cost of owning one just seems to keep going up.  That means now is the perfect time to look at ways to cut the running cost cost of car ownership.  Here are five tips to help.

Think carefully about whether you really need a car

The most effective way to cut the cost of car ownership is to get rid of your car.  What’s more, at present the used-car market is very strong.  This is because there are huge delays in manufacturing new cars.  Presumably, when the car industry gets back to normal, so will the demand for (and price of) used cars.  It’s therefore definitely worth thinking about whether or not you could sell now.

Look for ways to reduce how often you use your car

Look at your regular journeys and actively look for ways to reduce them.  For example, if you’re back to on-site work, see if there’s any possibility to work from home at least some of the time.  If you’re already working from home, then see if you could increase the remote work you do.

Similarly, try to find ways to batch the trips you do make.  This could be as simple as getting into the habit of working out what you need to do in advance.  Try keeping a notebook with a physical to-do list.  When you decide to do something, check and see if there’s anything else you could do at the same time.

When you do have to make a journey, thoroughly research ways to get there without using your car.  Season tickets and packs of tickets can make public transport more economical than taking a car.  If your employer offers season-ticket loans, the fares can become even more attractive.  You could also look into carpooling.

If you do have to take your car, then see if you can reduce how far you drive.  For example, see if you can park further from your destination than normal to see if this will enable cheaper parking, or help you to get healthier by walking.

Implement economical driving

There are three basic rules for fuel-efficient driving.  Firstly, minimise weight and air-resistance.  Secondly, maintain a consistent speed.  Thirdly, avoid sharp manoeuvres like sudden braking and turning.  Ideally, you’ll also minimise the number of gadgets you use in your car, particularly air-conditioning and heating.

None of these tips are hard to implement.  They generally depend on planning in advance and staying focused on the road.  For example, minimising weight and air-resistance means only keeping what you need (and really want) in and on your car.

Cruising smoothly at a consistent speed is about knowing your route and paying attention to the road.  Minimising the use of gadgets is also, generally, about thinking ahead.  When it’s hot, you may need air-con but when it’s cool, you can put on extra layers.

Also, we may be tempted to fill up if we find a relatively low fuel price, but a full tank can make the car heavier, which in turn may make you use more fuel.

Think about parking

Unsurprisingly, many people are currently very much focused on the cost of fuel.  Parking, however, can also be very expensive.  Again, researching your options ahead of time can help to reduce this cost, especially if you can be somewhat flexible.

Make sure you inform yourself about how to park safely and make time to do so.  This is important at any time but particularly now.  The issues in the car-manufacturing sector mean that there’s a global shortage of car parts.  As a result, even regular family/work cars are at increased risk of being targeted by criminals.

Remember your car insurance

Never let your car insurance just auto-renew.  Give yourself plenty of time to see what deals are out there.  If you really want to save money, consider using an insurance company that places a tracker in your car.

Do think about the cost of filling on credit cards, if you’re not paying it off in full each month, this is making it even more expensive to fill your car up.

Blackpool: 01253 299 399 | Carlisle: 01228 558 899