However, there are practical steps people can take to save money. Whether it’s getting cash back on fuel, ditching the roof rack, or paying less for gas and parking, these 29 tips from the RAC could help drivers save big. on the car.
4. Do not press the accelerator when starting the car
Some readers will recall that a few years ago drivers had to put their foot on the accelerator to get the car going. This is no longer the case and it could waste fuel and damage the engine – so wait.
5. Check the tires
Tires underinflated to 15 psi can use 6% more fuel. That’s the difference between an average of 40mpg and 42mpg – which could save someone up to £65 a year.
6. Look for cheap fuel
You can save several cents per liter – and therefore several pounds over the course of a year – by shopping for the cheapest fuel. The RAC says small changes matter, because at 42mpg and 10,000 miles a year a 10p increase in the price of diesel would cost an extra £100.82 over 12 months.
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7. Diesel or petrol? choose wisely
Unless your annual mileage is very high or you mainly drive on motorways or other main roads, Brits probably prefer to stick to petrol. They should also consider an electric or hybrid vehicle.
8. Take an advanced driving course
People can change their driving style to drive more economically. An advanced course teaches people how to drive more efficiently.
9. Haggle over car insurance
Don’t just accept the auto-renewal quote, call the insurer to see if it can be reduced. Save money by storing the car in the garage, reducing the number of kilometers driven or taking out “black box” insurance.
10. Claim for damage caused by potholes
According to Potholes.co.uk, up to one in 10 mechanical breakdowns in the UK are caused by potholes, costing motorists an estimated £730million each year. People can learn more about reporting a pothole and claiming damages here.
11. Consider adding family members
If they are also driving the car, adding a partner as a named driver may reduce premiums, although “coping” or pretending they are driving the car when they are not is illegal.
12. Appeal parking tickets
According to the MoneySavingExpert, 56% of motorists successfully appeal parking tickets if they believe they are unfair.
13. Pay less to park
Apps like Parkopedia and JustPark allow people to park in people’s driveways for a fraction of the cost of some downtown parking lots.
14. Don’t overestimate the mileage
Calculate the annual mileage and let the insurance company know – people tend to say 10,000 miles a year, but could drive a lot less than that. They could pay a higher risk premium than necessary.
15. Pay as you go
People who drive less than 6,000 miles a year could save on their car insurance by opting for temporary car insurance, pay per mile or pay as you go.
16. Park away from others
An easy way to reduce the risk of damage is to park it away from other cars, so their doors can’t damage it.
17. Buy a smartphone holder
Britons caught using a mobile phone while driving are now fined £200 and six points on their licence, but a good quality smartphone holder costs just £10.
18. Don’t use windshield wipers on ice
Windshield wipers can cost £20 or more to replace. Scratch the screen or use a defroster instead, prices start from just £1.
19. Perform a pre-MOT check
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), approximately 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT due to simple things like faulty bulbs, tire tread, and empty windshield washer fluid bottles.
20. Auto Parts Source
Consider buying the parts online and using a local RAC approved garage to fit them, which could save several hundred pounds.
21. Respect the mileage limit
If a PCP auto finance program covers a driver for 9,000 miles per year but drives 10,000 miles, they face excess mileage surcharges at the end of the program. Even an extra 0.06p per mile is a £180 bill if they drive 3,000 miles.
22. Ditch the roof rack
Don’t carry unnecessary weight – on average, every 50 kg will increase fuel consumption by 2%. Roof bars can increase fuel consumption by 10%.
23. Consider selling and using a car club
For people who don’t drive a lot, selling and borrowing a car might be cheaper. Many clubs cost as little as 30p a minute or £5 an hour – or earn money with Karshare by renting the vehicle from neighbours.
24. Monitor Fuel Economy
Fuel-efficient driving can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds at the pump over a year.
25. Stop taking it to the car wash
A £5 fortnightly car wash is £120 a year – and the RAC has a guide on how to wash a car twice as much in half the time.
26. Pay for parking over the phone
Although there is a small convenience fee, people will be notified when their parking lot is almost done, allowing them to extend it remotely so they aren’t caught off guard.
27. Get a black box
Young drivers could benefit from black box insurance that monitors how they drive. It might also be better to buy a smaller car, as it is cheaper to insure for young drivers.
28. Pay the tax in one installment
The road tax can be paid annually, monthly or semi-annually. Many opt for monthly payments, but this is more expensive over the whole year.
29. Be Complete
People on a budget often assume that liability insurance will be the cheapest, although this is not always the case these days. In fact, it might be cheaper to go fully comp.
The RAC has lots of tips for saving money on fuel, driving and the automobile in general. People can sign up for the RAC Drive newsletter here.