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17 Aug 2020
Jamie Gibbs Alice Campion

Six ways to save money on your motor

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keys on table with a calculator and toy car

Feeling the pinch? Here are some effective ways you can save money on your car. 

We’re in uncertain times and it’s difficult to know what’s around the corner. To make every penny count, here are our tips to save money on your motor.

How can I save on car insurance costs?

Don’t auto-renew. Insurers don’t reward you for loyalty so it’s worth shopping around for car insurance quotes.

You could save £276* by using a comparison site and conveniently, we do just that.

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Remember, never lie on your insurance. This is fraud and will cost you a lot more than your premiums.

How can I save on fuel costs?

There are some easy adjustments you can make to save on fuel costs:

  • Remove any extra weight from your car

  • Inflate your tyres to their proper pressure

  • Only fill up with as much fuel as you need

  • Avoid idling

  • Avoid short trips in the car if you can walk

Some supermarkets offer money off after spending a certain amount in store. Some credit cards also give cashback for filling up.

If you want to save, don’t go for the premium fuel at the pump – it’s not worth it if you have a standard car.

You can also use our petrol prices tool to find the cheapest petrol near you.

Want to know more about saving fuel? Read our fuel economy guide. 

How can I save on car maintenance costs?

MOTs

Before you take your car for its MOT check your:

  • Lights

  • Vehicle body and tyres

  • Windows and mirrors

  • Documentation for your car

It helps if your car is clean too.

Conducting these simple checks throughout the year means you can spread the cost of repairs. You can find out more about how to prepare your car for it’s MOT in our guide. 

Parts and repairs

For general maintenance or repairs try comparing garages to see who can do the job effectively for the best price.

If it’s just a part that needs repairing on your car you could save money by ordering it yourself. Only do this if you know what you’re getting.

Tyres

You don’t need a garage to check your tyres. Check them yourself using a 20p piece.

If the tread covers the rim of the coin, then your tyre tread is fine. Some garages will do a free tyre check if you want a professional opinion though. 

You can buy tyres online and fit them yourself. This is often cheaper but remember that delivery will cost. You should only fit them yourself if you know what you’re doing. 

You can check you’re getting a decent tyre at Tyresafe

Not yet tired of tyres? Find out more about keeping your tyres in good shape.


Pothole damage

Has your car been damaged because of a pothole? You might be able to claim for it.

Between 2017 and 2018, there were roughly 905,000 potholes on the road. This caused almost £3 million worth of damage to cars.

If your car has been damaged by a pothole, your local authority could be responsible. So you might be entitled to compensation.

Our guide on claiming for pothole damage can give you more information. 

 

How can I save on tax?

When you tax your car you have the option to pay by instalments or pay the yearly amount in full.

To save, it’s worth paying it outright.

For example, if your car was in tax band E, paying tax in one instalment would cost £150.

Spread this out over 12 months and you’ll end up paying £157.50 overall.

 

How can I save on parking?

Parking in any city centre can be costly. Opt for the park and ride or on-street parking that’s out of the city centre.

Always check the signs around where you’re parking. It could be that there are restrictions at certain times of day.

You shouldn’t skimp on safety to save cash though.

Make sure you’re not parked on a junction, on double yellow or single red lines. Single yellow lines usually have restrictions, so check the signage before you park or wait there.

 

How can I save when I’m buying a car?

Think about your budget. It’s not just the initial outlay of the car the running costs can mount up too.

Trading your car in could knock money off the initial cost. Use our free valuation tool to get an estimate on how much it's worth.

Buy a used car instead of a new one. The value of a new car drops as soon as you drive it off the forecourt. You should make a significant saving even if the car’s only a year old. 

Don’t be afraid to haggle either. Check out other dealers and come armed with the best prices you’ve found. You never know, they might knock some money off. 

For more budgeting tips and what to look out for when you’re buying a new car, check out our top tips for buying.

If you can afford a monthly payment plus interest then you could get a car through finance.

Although it may not make the purchase price cheaper it could save you taking a chunk out of your savings.

*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (April '20). 51% of car insurance customers could save £294.30

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