50 Ways to Save Money | Part 4-7

Motoring costs rocketing? Here are some quick tips to save money. Some will amount to a good few pounds, others to just a few pennies, but they all add up.

4. Consider leasing rather than buying 

More than 90 per cent of new cars are bought on finance, according to the latest Finance & Leasing Association statistics. Why such a big share? The benefits of leasing include fixed monthly repayments, no concerns about depreciation and the flexibility to switch to a new car at the end of the contract. For electric and hybrid cars, monthly repayments are comparable to their petrol and diesel counterparts; whereas if you were to buy outright, their costs are still quite different, so leasing remains a very popular option for drivers looking to go electric. Some leasing providers also give you the option to add on a service and maintenance package which is spread across the length of the contract. Maintenance packages can include all scheduled maintenance such as MOT, servicing, and tyre replacement. Breakdown and roadside assistance can also be included. All vital services are often cheaper when bought in this way.

5. Drive gently when the car is cold

Cars are at their least efficient when they are cold. Winter driving comes with its own challenges. If you drive quickly straight from start-up, you are redoubling the wasted fuel and also wearing out the engine more quickly in the process. Show some mechanical sympathy, and you’ll immediately start saving money. On a related matter, you shouldn’t allow your engine to idle for too long. Today’s engines are designed to operate from the moment you turn the key – warming the engine is no longer required. If you like the cabin to feel warm on a cold day, it might be worth investing in a car with heated seats and a heated steering wheel. Remember to turn them off when you’ve warmed up, as they will increase your fuel consumption when switched on.

6. Check your tyre pressures

This simple check can save you big. Knowing how to check tyre pressure is very important for all drivers’, it might cost you 50p or £1 to do it at a filling station, but the savings soon add up. You could also buy an electric pump and check and inflate yourself rather than go to a garage. Shop. Tyres underinflated by 15psi – a difference you may not notice from a visual glance – can use 6% more fuel. That’s the difference between averaging 40mpg and 42mpg. Or, to put it another way, an additional 26 miles from a 60-litre tank of fuel. Based on the current average price for a litre of diesel, you’ll spend £1,365.08 a year at 40mpg or £1,300.10 at 42mpg – a difference of £65.Find out how to check your tyres.

7. Hunt out cheap fuel

You can save many pennies per litre – and therefore many pounds over the course of a year – by searching for the cheapest fuel. Driving out of your way to filling up with cheap fuel is a false economy, but what steps can you take to ensure you don’t spend more than is necessary? Get to know the petrol stations in your local area, making a mental note of the price per litre as you drive by. You can find a difference of a few pence on the same street, and it might be worth making a small detour to make a big saving. Also take advantage of supermarket and fuel retailer loyalty cards which can come in handy in cutting fuel costs. The more you fill up, the more points you’ll accrue, which can be exchanged for vouchers when you come to fill up. Small changes matter, because at 42mpg and 10,000 miles a year, a 10p increase in diesel price would cost an extra £100.82 over the course of 12 months. Read our top tips on how to find the cheapest fuel in your area for more information. Remember though, driving far out your way to pick up cheap fuel is a false economy, which becomes even more negligible the less economical your car.

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Article by: RAC

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