Driving for many of us is an expensive necessity. We need it for work, school runs, shopping and more but with the costs that come associated with it always seeming to rise, many want to find a way to cut the costs but still get the same benefits. In January we covered the trend of hypermiling and how you could get more from your fuel but today, we will look at other ways that you can keep car costs down.
Figures recently illustrated that the annual cost of owning a car can be as much as £5744, it would be nice to have some of that money back in your pocket so let’s have a look and see how you may be able to make that possible.
This can be a hard question to answer as some elements may come down to personal preference, however, it is often quoted that you should look to spend no more than 20% of your annual income on car costs. There are some though that say you should aim for closer to 15 or even 10%. You could also take advantage of what is known as the 20/4/10 rule. This shows you how to spread your budget. 20% as a down payment on the car, aim to have finance cleared off within 4 years and then use 10% of your gross monthly income to cover vehicle expenses.
There are, of course, plenty of hacks and tips that could help you save the money you may otherwise spend on your vehicle. We have picked 5 that could make a significant difference.
Our boot is often the storage space of our vehicles even when we don’t need it to be. Spare bags, an unused car seat, or perhaps bike racks will all add additional weight to your car. These then hinder the fuel efficiency of your car as it has to work harder to pull the weight. You could be adding up to 30kg of additional weight to your car which could soon see petrol costs rise rapidly.
Nobody is expecting you to be a mechanic and you should always leave the more complex jobs to the professionals but there are plenty of preventative maintenance jobs you could do yourself that will save you significant money in the long run. Oil changes, tyre changes and many more things can be easily completed on your driveway. In most cases, a search on YouTube will bring you detailed videos with simple instructions. Follow these and you could be saving a fortune on call-out or labour costs. Just be aware that if the job does seem a little too in-depth, and you are not confident in completing it, ask for expert advice. Doing it yourself without a full understanding could make the problem worse.
Quite often people hunt for a bargain thinking that the product is much the same as others on the market, albeit with less of a brand name behind it perhaps. With tyres, and therefore your safety, it is always best to look for a few factors. Cheaper tyres tend to have higher stopping distances and offer reduced handling. They will also harm your fuel economy and due to poor manufacture, require replacement more frequently. Instead, look for the tyre label – all tyres have them – this will show you the fuel efficiency rating of the tyre. An A rating with G being the worst. Finding the right economical tyre could see you save more than £50 per year in fuel costs.
A few tweaks here and there with the way you drive could prove to be extremely valuable in your quest to save money whilst driving. The way you brake, accelerate and use your gears can all make a huge difference. Consider gradual acceleration to help save fuel then maintain as high a gear as possible without making the engine work too hard. Then when it comes to slowing down, rather than applying the brakes aggressively, allow yourself to naturally slow down, you can then stop gradually. Not only will you benefit from better fuel economy, but you will also preserve the components of your car, saving you additional expenses at the garage further down the line.
This may be at the more extreme end of the spectrum as it will require you to purchase a new car but with the funds you receive from your car sale, buying an electric car on a cheap car finance deal could save you money. With reduced tax and insurance as well as the lack of low emission zone payments you can be saving considerable sums when compared to your previous car. In addition, the excessive expense of petrol can be sidestepped thanks to free or cheap charging points that are often found in towns and cities.
Getting the best value out of your car can be a challenge but following our 5 tips above can go some way to making it possible. It could be that your current car is at an age where it is no longer proving to be viable to keep running it. If so, speak to us! Our team at Euphoria Finance can help steer you in the direction of quick car finance for both brand-new and used models. Operating as a direct lender means that you do not have to worry about credit scores, or whether you are a new driver either. In fact, we love to say yes to applicants regardless of status. Bad credit car finance, or car finance for new drivers, is all possible with Euphoria!