Reducing the Costs of Car Ownership
If you own a car you will be aware of how expensive it can be to run it. There are so many different things that you have to pay for and each of these can add up to a lot of money. It is worth thinking about whether you can reduce the cost and if you split it up into separate parts and try to reduce each one, this can help.
One of the most expensive costs for drivers tends to be insurance. This is why there are quite a few insurers that decide that it is okay to drive without it. This is an offence though and so is certainly not something that anyone should do. However, there are ways that you might be able to reduce the cost of your insurance.
Young drivers tend to be penalised the most as they tend to be the ones most likely to have an accident. This means that they will find their insurance is very high. However, by comparing different insurers they may be able to find some cheaper companies to use. It is worth trying comparison websites, just to get an idea of what sorts of premiums you are looking at, but remember that not all companies are on there and they may only recommend the ones that pay them a lot of commission.
It is important though, to make sure that you are choosing insurance that will cover you for everything that you need. You need to think about whether you are happy to have the minimal third party, which will be the cheapest option or if you want or need extra cover. If you drive while at work then you will need extra cover for that and you might want cover that will pay for any damage that you do to your vehicle. You might want to include legal cover, accidental damage and windscreen damage. There are many options and it is worth discussing these with the insurer before taking out the insurance to find out what things you can leave out and decide whether you want those or not. It will all depend on your personal value on those things and whether you feel it is worth paying the extra for them.
Legally you have to have your car MOTed and the cost may not vary much between different garages. However, if you need any work done on the car, then the cost could vary. If you use a dealer, for example, they can tend to be dearer than a specialist repair shop. You may also find that if you are handy yourself, you might be able to do some of the possible repairs before the MOT which could save money. If it has to be retested after being repaired you have to pay for the Mot twice, so try to do it before. Check simple things like light bulbs and tyres as you could change them at a lower cost. If you are trained or knowledgeable in how cars work then you might eb able to make some other checks as well to ensure everything should pass before you take the car in.
Although legally everyone has to pay car tax, there are ways you can save money on it. Firstly, if you pay for 12 months, rather than just 6 months then the tax is cheaper. Therefore, if you save up in advance you will be able to save some money. Secondly, the tax varies depending on the vehicle that you have. When you are changing your vehicle, it could be wise to look into the cost of the tax and see whether it might be better to choose one that has a lower tax rate. If you are not sure how much it would be you should be able to find out form the DVLA.
Servicing and repairs
Many people do not bother to get their car serviced because it is expensive. However, if it is regularly serviced then it could mean that it will not break down so often. It could also mean that faults are found more quickly and so can be repaired before damage is caused to other parts of the car or that the damage is so bad it has to be replaced rather than repaired. It is worth comparing prices of services though as you will find they can vary a lot. Ask around locally with friends and family to see who they would recommend as well as you will want good value for money, rather than just going for the company that is the cheapest but may not do a good job.
The fuel to run the car can feel like one of the biggest expenses because it is ongoing. Every time we fill up we will notice the cost of it. It is something that could be cheaper though. By using the car less often, carrying less weight in it (by removing roof racks, roof top boxes and items form the boot) and driving more efficiently we will have to fill up less often. It is also worth looking at the cost of fuel locally or asking other drivers that you know, to find out where might be the cheapest place to fill up.