Seven Money Saving Tips for Motorists: Keep costs down
Whilst the freedom and convenience of a car is a real asset to many drivers, it can also prove difficult to keep up with mounting costs — especially if you’re a new or young driver.
So whether you’re saving money by staying fuel efficient or cutting down the cost of your insurance, our handy guide has 11 driving tips that should help you to save money whilst driving. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save!
How to save money as a driver
1. Watch your speed
Speed limits are there for a reason! But as well as reducing pollution, controlling traffic flow and increasing road safety, did you know that driving slower can also increase your fuel efficiency?
Motorway driving at 80mph, even consistently, uses up 25% more petrol than when you drive at 70mph. Driving at 60mph saves you a further 9%. Breaking and accelerating also use up fuel, so the earlier you start gearing down before a stop, the more you’ll save.
Make use of cruise control to easily maintain your speed, and set a limiter if you need to to ensure that you don’t go over the limit.
2. Don't idle your engine
‘Idling’ is when a vehicle’s engine is left running whilst parked or stationary. This happens when drivers stop at a red light, when loading, or when dropping off or picking up passengers. Under the Road Vehicle Regulations (1986) it is illegal to leave engines running unnecessarily when stationary. It is bad because it pollutes the air with exhaust fumes, causes excess noise and can be a health hazard.
Idling can almost always be avoided. Some vehicles now have ‘eco’ settings that will shut down the engine without you having to turn the key in the ignition. When you want to start again, simply go as you would usually. Otherwise, if you don’t have an eco setting, turn off your engine completely when you’re not driving.
3. Drive more efficiently
Changing your driving habits can also help you to travel more efficiently. Change gear at the correct times in order to put less strain on your engine and cut down on fuel consumption.
Change up in a diesel car at 2,000rpm and 2,500rpm in a petrol car for optimum results.
You should also consider whether you need to use the car for all of your journeys. Instead, take your bike or walk — it’s good for your health and the environment as well as your wallet.
4. Save money on fuel
When it comes to fuel, just a few pence difference per litre can add up to a good saving when you're getting a full tank.
Filling up early in the morning or late at night when the temperature has dropped means the fuel is denser, so you can get more in your tank than at warmer parts of the day. This is only a marginal saving, but it could make a difference to how much you spend over the year.
If you regularly get your fuel at the supermarket, it could be worth signing up to their rewards card if it’s possible to get cashback or rewards on fuel too. Remember to always shop around for your fuel. GPS apps like Waze will show you the prices that different petrol stations are operating with so that you can make an informed decision.
The savings may not all be immediately obvious but these small changes are simple to do and they will save you money in the long run and will make your car altogether more efficient.
5. Maintain your tyres
Maintaining your tyres is vitally important for the safety of your car, as incorrect tyre pressure can result in longer stopping distances, more difficult handling, and at the worst — could cause a tyre blowout.
Under-inflated tyres create extra resistance, which means your engine has to work to get you where you want to go. So not only does pumping up your tyres reduce the chance of you wearing them out early, it could cut your fuel costs too.
6. Service and maintain proactively
By the time you notice something wrong with your car, it could be too late! Remember to stay on top of maintenance, so get yours serviced regularly and proactively. This is a great investment as it will keep everything running smoothly — protecting your safety as well as your pocket in the long run.
|Every six months or 6,000 miles||Interim service|
|Every 12 months or 12,000 miles||Full service|
|Every 4-6 years or 60,000-100,000 miles||Cambelt replacement|
7. Buy comprehensive Car Insurance
Finding the right type of insurance can save you money in the long run. Shop around to find the best price.
Play around with the size of your excess in order to save money on your monthly payments, and make sure to fill in the details accurately. If you have off-road parking, a second named driver or a no-claims history, these are all things that can ensure that your monthly payments are smaller.
You should also choose comprehensive insurance that includes roadside breakdown cover and a courtesy car, as this can save you money if you’re caught short as a result of a breakdown.
Discover comprehensive Car Insurance at Swinton today.
How can drivers save money?
Drivers can save money on all aspects of their vehicle. From finding competitive insurance prices, washing the car yourself or never paying for parking, side-stepping lots of add-on costs can add up to save you a lot of money in the long run.