It seems that more and more people are thinking about ditching their wheels for good. Many are opting for bicycles because they are considered the greener, healthier choice. Others say that the running costs of keeping a car have become so exorbitant, they really can’t justify it any longer.
But does running a vehicle really have to be so expensive? Let’s look at some practical, achievable measures we can take to drive the costs of our motoring down…
Foster a More Vintage Attitude
No, we’re not talking about buying that classic 1930s Bugatti – that could set you back a very pretty penny. The modern motorist with a frugal fixation would do well to forget about purchasing a brand new car, fresh off the production line. Those who value the latest issue registration plates fixed to cars fresh off the transporter, will pay top dollar. The average car loses around twenty five per cent of its value as soon as it is driven out of the showroom onto the road – let that focus your mind. There is no stigma attached to buying a second hand car – on the contrary, those seeking used car deals are clearly smart cookies.
Repair and Restore
When things on your car break or get tired looking, replace and restore instead of automatically heading for the scrapyard. One area replacement isn’t automatic is when you get a puncture in your tyre. The best way of solving such a problem is getting a mobile tyre fitter to call by and check out the puncture. Depending on where the puncture sits on the wheel, it may be possible to fix it instead of having to stand the cost of a brand new replacement. It’s a good money saving tip to keep the number of a mobile tyre fitter on hand because they are often the quickest and most convenient way of sorting out urgent car tyre headaches.
Another tip for saving money with your tyres is to make sure they are running at the correct pressure for optimal fuel efficiency – this is something your mobile tyre fitter will be able to check for you. Running on tyres with the correct pressures will lighten the load on your wallet when you call at the petrol station. Sound good?
How about those hazy, blurry plastic headlight casings that age your otherwise great looking vehicle? Well, they too can be restored to look good as new. Head down to your local auto-parts store and check out the DIY section for kits. You’ll be amazed at the easy stuff you can do that will make a huge difference to the appearance of your car. Investing in a colour matched chip and scratch paint is advisable as treating any early problems saves money in the long run.
Give up Bad Habits
Do you like to rev your engine at the lights and accelerate extravagantly into the distance on green? If you like to present yourself as a bit of a petrol head it may interest you to learn that your driving style is damaging your bank balance and the environment. Try to cultivate good driving habits such as smooth gear changes, correct gear selection for the conditions, gradual acceleration and braking. This enables your car’s engine management system to cope better, thus using less fuel.
Revisit Your Paperwork
With endless choices, baffling rules and numerous tricks to trap the innocent driver, many road users end up sticking with one car insurer for an easy life. However, if you bite the bullet and use online comparison sites you can save money. Premiums vary hugely and can hinge on the smallest details, especially categories such as occupation. For example, state you are a music teacher then you may be charged more than if you simply state teacher. A construction worker can be charged higher rates than a bricklayer – try out a few different job descriptions to see which one comes up the cheapest because if it still accurately reflects your occupation, there’s no reason not to. The same goes for women who are full time mums at home – do not say you are unemployed (as if! – looking after kids?!) because this can elevate premiums. The trick is not to accept the first quote you get, be flexible, think laterally and haggle– there’s a lot of competition and the insurers need your business.
So there you have some places to start on your quest for saving money on your motoring. If you get a result with any one of these tips, you’ll be well on your journey to cheaper car ownership…