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How to reduce motoring costs
How to reduce motoring costs - sensible, practical advice on how to reduce the cost of your motoring. No silly car sharing ideas here, as we offer tips which apply to the real world! Where buses are in short supply and many people have to travel more than just a few miles.
The government would have us all sharing a car or traveling on buses and trains. This will stop congestion and to a certain degree will reduce your bills if you car share. However, you will still pay for an increase in road tax each year, inflated fuel prices and more each year for your MOT. Do you really want to take advice from them?
We live in the Lincolnshire countryside, there is no bus or train service to the town where I work. As far as I know, no one in the village works in the same town on the same days that I do. Therefore, I had to come up with my own solutions to reduce my motoring costs.
Is it possible to do some of your work from home? I now work at home two days week. My work can be transfered on to a portable hard drive and plugged into the network when I go in to work. However, you could just as easily take some filing or typing home if your boss is agreeable. By working at home two days a week I save about £35-40 per month. In addition, I have less wear and tear on my vehicle.
What type of car do you drive? This is the most crucial factor, as being sensible can save you a fortune. I am not refering to age, as I am not a fan of changing your car each year. This is very wasteful, which I shall discuss another time.
If you drive a Chelsea Tractor, a high powered sports car, a hot hatch or an executive saloon you are going to get stung - big time! Firstly, fuel costs. Do you like piling your money up on the table and putting a match to it? Obviously you do if you have one of the above as a daily drive. If you look at your monthly outgoings, I would guess that petrol costs will be in the top five, this moves up the list the thirstier the car. Buy a smaller, more economical car and you'll not only help the environment, you'll help your bank balance.
The bigger, faster or more expensive the car, the higher the car insurance. It has to be that way, parts more expensive, theft is more likely or there is a greater risk of an accident. By settling for a more humble vehicle you can make another huge dent in your expenditure.
Engine size is also a key factor. A bigger engine requires more fuel therefore more expense. Larger engines tend to be less green and therefore your road tax will be higher. On older vehicles, road tax is directly proportional to engine size, with the exception of tax exempt classic cars. You might put forward the arguement for hybrid cars and there is indeed a very good, large engine Lexus. However, we are trying to reduce your car expenditure and not encourage you to take out a second mortgage to buy a car!
Maintain your vehicle. I prefer not to use main dealers for servicing, as my father used to have an executive saloon. The car was plugged into a computer and different parts were replaced due to their age and there was a schedule for replacing each bit. This is absolute nonsense! A local garage refused to do their servicing, as they were "Fed up replacing bits that didn't need replacing or were not worn out!" Look after your car and you will not get any nasty surprises at the MOT, as that in itself is dear enough!
What things can you do to reduce your bills without paying someone to do them? The answer is lots of things!
Don't bump the kerb! This can either damage your alloy wheels or it will send the tracking of your wheels out of alignment. This will cost at least £15 pounds at somewhere like Kwik-Fit.
Weekly checks are crucial. Tyre pressures must be checked, this prevents all sorts of things including uneven tyre wear, lack of vehicle control, fuel economy and so forth. Check the water, as over heating can cause serious damage to the engine and big bills! Check the oil. An engine is a mechanical metal object, which needs oil to run smoothly, without friction. If an engine runs out of oil don't call me, call the paramedics!
Control your speed! If you go faster, you'll use your fuel quicker. There is a significant difference in fuel consumption between 55 and 65 miles per hour. If you use motorways, don't do 80 you'll get pinched! Do 70, you won't get collared and you'll save money - simple!
Finally, one or two little things to save money on your fuel bills. Believe it or not, all of these reduce your cars fuel economy. Turn off the radio, heater, air conditioning and any other unecessary electricals and you will improve the fuel consumption. If you can't do this completely, do it in moderation.
If you only travel a few miles a month, it might be worth considering Norwich Union Pay As You Drive Car Insurance. Less miles means less money!!
You can call Swinton for free on 0800 4584 413, for a car insurance quote.
That's it, I hope we've helped. If we have missed something out, please visit our contact page and we might add your ideas, with a credit of course!
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