How to reduce your motoring expenses

Driving is, for the most part, quite expensive. With the current cost of living crisis and driver’s relying on their cars more than ever before it’s likely that the costs of driving is on lots of people’s radars.

However, there are some key areas to look at if you want to bring down your motoring expenses. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Try to drive as economically as possible.

Driving a little more economically is a great place to start when it comes to saving money. A way to kick things off is by not overfilling your car’s fuel tank and ensuring that any unnecessary weight is removed from your car - this ensures that it’s as light as possible which, in turns, means your car will use less fuel.

Try and drive at a more constant speed, too, rather than constantly accelerating or decelerating. Shutting off your engine when stopped in traffic will help as well.

2. Swap to a more fuel-efficient car.

Though it’s certainly not an option for all car owners, switching into a more economical vehicle can pay dividends in the long and short term. Newer cars are cleaner and return better consumption figures, while electric cars are exempt from road tax and cost considerably less to maintain, too.

Though hybrids might still use petrol or diesel, the inclusion of an electric motor helps them to offer considerably better efficiency levels.

plug in hybrid vehicle
Car Insurance

3. Keep on top of your maintenance.

Unexpected repairs can often arrive with costly bills, which is why it’s a good idea to keep on top of your maintenance and repairs. Make sure that your tyres are in a good condition with plenty of tread and check your oil and fluids are at the right levels as well. If anything looks broken or out of the ordinary, then make sure that you get it checked out by a trained mechanic.

You should also keep your car serviced on time, which will hopefully mean any potential issues are spotted - and fixed - early.

4. Assess your insurance costs.

If you are considering a change of car, then it might be a good idea to consider one in a lower insurance group to the car you currently have. It’ll quickly drive down the cost of your premiums.

You should also use a comparison site to shop around for the best deals, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, either - this can often be a way of getting well-priced insurance premiums. When taking out a new insurance plan, it is important to check for anyways it can be made cheaper. If you don’t currently hit your expected mileage, this could be lowered and are they any named driver’s that don’t need to use the car?

5. Plan ahead – Map your route.

A little bit of planning goes a long way, particularly when it comes to driving. Plotting your route ahead of time will save money on fuel by ensuring you’re on the most direct route possible. It’s also a good idea to leave a little earlier in order to miss peak traffic times. Jams, of course, slow you down and cause fuel consumption to rise.

6. Buy economical tyres.

The right tyres can improve fuel efficiency and driving performance, which equals better savings in the long run. It is also important to inflate and check your tyre pressures frequently to avoid unnecessary wear and tear that can also increase fuel consumption.

Even though premium tyres might be slightly more expensive initially than the budget options, they are likely to save you money in the long run. Not only will they lessen your trips to the fuel station, but they will last longer and need replacing less often.

winter tyres
Petrol pump

7. Don’t overpay for fuel.

When filling up with petrol or diesel, the fuel station you choose will have a big impact on the price. Buying fuel at the supermarket rather than at a local petrol station such as a Shell, BP, or Esso can save you money. Supermarkets usually have deals like discounts or loyalty points, which you can use to save more money in the future.

It is also worth trying to avoid refuelling at a motorway services at all costs. While we know that sometimes this is unavoidable, service stations increase the prices as they have limited competition and increased demand.

Additionally, don't pay extra for premium fuel – it hardly offers any significant benefit and can cost almost double the regular fuel. Stick to standard fuel; your engine will thank you, and so will your wallet.

8. Wash your own car!

Whilst washing a car might seem like a chore, cleaning it yourself can save you quite a bit of money. Taking it to the car wash or paying a valeting company to do it for you might seem more convenient, the cost will add up to quite an expense in the long run.

Washing it yourself not only saves money but can ensure that your car is looked after and remains scratch and dent free.

Free car washing from a main dealer.

Did you know that lots of franchise dealership such as Audi and Volkswagen offer a free wash and vacuum when a car is in for a service or MOT? This is a great way to still enjoy the luxury of someone else cleaning your car but without paying the hefty price tag.

someone cleaning windscreen

9. Avoid toll roads and congestion charges.

Across the UK, there are a variety of payable roads and bridges called toll roads. By using these routes, you will be required to pay a charge, this can often add up and add to motoring expenses. By avoiding these roads and choosing an alternative route you can save money and not add to your driving costs.

Another thing to be aware of is congestion charges. If you are planning a trip to central London, you’ll need to pay a £15 per day fee to drive into the centre of the city. This can be avoided by parking outside of the London Congestion Charge zone and using public transport to get to your final destination. Other cities such as Manchester and Birmingham are starting to implement a similar clean air zone.

10. Take advantage of Technology

A final way to save money as driver, is to take advantage of current technology advancements. By getting a dash cam installed, your insurance premiums can reduce by around 25%! Whilst there would be an initial cost, the cheaper car insurance could save you money in the long run.

Another way technology can reduce your costs is by using smartphone apps to help find cheap car parking spaces. By identifying cheaper car parking options, you could save a significant amount of money over the course of a year.



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