Having access to a car can make your life easier in lots of ways, particularly if you have a growing family or don’t live centrally. But it can also be a significant financial commitment when you factor in fuel, insurance, repairs, servicing, and other car expenses.
With car ownership on the rise since the pandemic, it’s essential to understand and manage these costs effectively. Below, read practical tips to help you drive your motoring costs down.
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Regular maintenance is vital for avoiding costly repairs and keeping your vehicle in good condition. This includes routine checks like oil changes and brake and tire inspections.
A preventative approach is often best, and adhering to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule can stop minor issues leading to major repairs.
Depreciation is a significant yet often overlooked aspect of car ownership. In the UK, you can expect a typical car to lose around 15% of its value on average every year – though this varies wildly between makes and models.
To mitigate this, consider buying a used car or choosing models known for their reliability and lower depreciation rates.
Choosing the right insurance
The average cost of car insurance in the UK is on the up, reaching close to £1,000 at the start of 2024. Premiums still depend on a wide range of factors, including your location, car model, and driving history.
To reduce your insurance costs, it’s best to shop around, consider different levels of coverage, and maintain a clean driving record in the meantime. Over-compromising on your coverage could leave you short, but specialist policies such as car gap insurance can make sure you don’t lose out if your car’s written off and your insurer won’t pay the original value.
With rising fuel costs, too, choosing a fuel-efficient car is more important than ever. But it’s not all about your vehicle of choice. Adopting efficient driving habits, like steady acceleration and maintaining optimal speeds, can also improve your fuel economy and heavily reduce this expense.
Learning basic DIY maintenance skills
Many car maintenance tasks are best left to professionals, but learning some basic skills can save money on simple repairs and routine checks. Many minor issues, such as changing light bulbs or air filters, can be done at home with only basic tools and knowledge. Online tutorials offer excellent and often free resources for increasing your handiness.
Car ownership involves a host of expenses that can soon add up. But by better understanding these costs and taking steps to manage them, you can significantly reduce this financial burden.
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