Women and Wheels

Drive Smart: Cost Cutting Tips For Car Owners

 

A model poses in a car at the stand of Japanese carmaker Nissan at the Paris Auto Show in Paris on October 2, 2014. Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Owning your own car gives you liberty to go wherever you want on your own terms.  This freedom however, comes at a cost.  It’s not just the original price of the car you have to worry about, there is the insurance, fuel, services etc. The yearly cost of running your car from parking charges to your insurance premium we have tips to make driving a more economical option.

Master the art of driving

Making small tweaks to your driving technique can save on fuel costs. To drive more efficiently don’t rev the engine and change up into a higher gear as soon as it is possible, correct use of gears can save you up to 15% of your fuel bill. Plan ahead, anticipate stop signs and lights, the less you have to stop, the better your fuel economy. Remember driving just 8 km/h over the speed limit can affect fuel consumption by 23%, the most fuel efficient speed is 75-80 km/h.

Refuel sparingly

Working out exactly how much fuel your car actually uses will allow you plan better. To do that fill your car from empty and reset the counter to determine how much of a distance you can cover with a full tank. Then for example if your car uses 65 litres to travel 500km you use 13 litres per 100 km. When refueling look for the cheapest petrol or diesel in your area.

Car Insurance

You can save money by simply shopping around for the cheapest car insurance so take the time to do so and don’t simply renew your insurance annually. Put a realistic value on your car. Insuring a car at a higher value than its market value will do nothing but waste money. Insurance companies will only ever compensate you for what you have lost. Also if your car isn’t that expensive then consider third party insurance rather than comprehensive cover. Always ask your insurance company if you are eligible for a discount and if possible pay your premium upfront, paying monthly eases the financial burden but will cost you more in the long run

Look after your car

No-one enjoys taking their car for a routine service, especially when often the car comes back feeling and looking the same as before. Even so, cost-cutting on maintenance is false economy.  Taking good care of your car is an easy way to prolong its driving life and cut costs so do regular checks on the oil, fluid levels, tyres it will pay huge dividends in the long run.

 Find the cheapest spot to park your car

You can easily find free parking in places that aren’t that close to the city center. Alternatively some offices usually have parking reserved for employees find out if you can use vacant spots at a reduced cost.

Check your tyres

Over time, tyres will naturally lose air and not only is this dangerous but it will also affect your cars fuel efficiency. Keeping your tyres properly inflated can improve consumption by up to 2%. Also check the threads on your tyres and don’t forget about the spare wheel. Oil, coolant levels, tyre pressure should be looked at to make sure they are in perfect condition.

 

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