Handy ideas to save on your motoring costs

Most of us feel that we couldn’t live without a car; whether it’s the daily commute, weekend road trips, or driving the kids around. Regardless of necessity, running a car isn’t exactly cheap. According to Investopedia, the average yearly cost is approximately $9,576 per year. While for many of us, it seems unrealistic to ditch the motor altogether, there are a few smart ways that you can reduce your motoring costs.

Choose your car wisely

When you’re purchasing a new vehicle, making a wise choice can be the difference between losing money and saving it. When you are buying a new car, depreciation will begin as soon as you start to drive it. Some cars can lose as much as 50% of their original value in just the first 4 or 5 years. You won’t see that money back when you’re buying new. Due to this, some motorists opt for choosing a second hand or an ‘almost new’ car. You can still shop around for the model that you want and end up finding it for a fraction of the price. Choosing a less expensive car will mean that your car insurance is less costly also. Car insurance prices will tend to be affected by the model or how likely the vehicle is to be stolen.

If you buy second hand, the depreciation will have (mostly) already occurred, and so you’re not going to be the one out of pocket. If you are keen on getting a brand new car, one thing you can do is choose a vehicle with a slow depreciation rate. A few vehicles which are reported have a gradual depreciation are Jeep Wranglers, the Subaru Impreza, or the Toyota 4 Runner.

Reduce the depreciation

Attempting to reduce the depreciation of your car can save you a bit of money. There are a few ways that you can try to do this. Besides buying a slow deprecating vehicle, to begin with, you can also try to keep the mileage down on your car. Keep in mind that the average mileage is approximately 10,000 miles per each. If you ramp up the miles on your car, the value will decrease over time. Of course, you need to use your vehicle, but taking a few walks or bike rides every now and then couldn’t hurt! Any damages to the car are going to affect the resale value. With this in mind, keeping your car in the best condition possible can also reduce the depreciation. Ensure that you get your car regularly serviced to keep everything in the best working order. A car is an investment as well as a practical purchase, and you’ll want to protect your investment the best that you can.

Reduce the depreciation

Shop around for car insurance

Many motorists end up merely renewing their monthly deals each year. While this may be convenient, having a shop around could land you a better price. There are several discounts that individual insurers provide. Some insurer’s offer ‘accident-free’ discounts for motorists who have never been involved in a car accident. Others offer ‘anti-theft’ related discounts. If your vehicle is fitted with equipment which protects it from robbery; you could be eligible for one of these. A few examples of appropriate equipment include tracking or alarm systems. If your car has anti-lock brakes, this could get you a discount too.

Taking a defensive driving course can also help you to save some money on your car insurance. A defensive driving course allows motorists to identify and address hazards. With such a course, you’ll learn to anticipate risks beyond the skills you’d gain via a standard driving license. Such a course can be beneficial for general safety on the roads as well as reducing your costs. Black box insurance policies can also decrease the price you’ll pay. These work by installing a box in your car that tracks the way that you drive and your speed.

Another thing that you can do is to add another driver to your policy. You need to make sure that they are a more experienced driver. You are considered less of a risk to insure with a non ‘high risk’ driver on your policy.

Piggy Bank

Drive to save fuel

The way that you drive can increase or decrease your fuel consumption. Simple things like slowing down slightly can mean that you use up less fuel. When you accelerate and brake less frequently, you’ll also use less. Leaving an appropriate distance between you can the car in front can ensure that you do this. If you have your tires at the correct pressure, this makes for better fuel consumption. Always check your tires before you drive. Keep your windows closed when you are driving at high speeds; this is because you’ll experience increased fuel consumption with this kind of wind resistance. Ensure to take off your roof rack when not in use, for the same reason. When it comes to fuel, prices will vary, so it’s worth shopping around in your area. Don’t be tempted to go for the premium fuel unless you’ve been advised that this is what you need. Most cars can run just as well on standard fuel options.

Drive cautiously & safety

Car accidents are not just dangerous; they are also costly; can drive up your insurance premiums, and land you in a lot of trouble. While you cannot control the actions of other drivers, you can take steps to improve your own driving. When you’ve been driving for a long time, it’s easy to forget about your health and safety. According to The Zebra, distracted driving causes around 3,500 deaths per year. Distracted driving can be easily preventable by keeping your iPhone out of reach when you are in the car. When driving with children in the car, it’s vital to remain focused on the roads. We all know that driving under the influence is dangerous, yet many drivers still get caught up in these offenses. In such an incident, to reduce costly fines and run-ins with the law, you’ll need a good DUI lawyer to represent you. Firms like Arizona DUI Center can offer great help and support in such cases.

Drive less and go green

So you probably won’t like the idea of giving up your car altogether but what about driving a little less? Consider the journeys that you make on average in a week. Try to assess if every one of these journeys requires a car ride. There might well be some instances whereby you can take a walk or take the bus. If you take a commute to work in your car, why not try to arrange a carpool scheme? Often colleagues who live nearby will be interested. If your workplace offers a cycle to work scheme; why not take advantage of it? Sometimes driving becomes a habit more than a necessity. Once you take a few nice walks, you’ll wonder why you were driving such short distances!

Bicycle in the forest

Ditch your air conditioning

Air conditioning is an awesome luxury that we love having in our cars! When it’s just too hot outside, we look forward to having a drive too cool off. The fact is, though, air conditioning uses up fuel, so overusing it wastes money. When you’re driving slowly, why not open up the window instead? It’s fine to make use of your air conditioning- but overusing it is just going to waste your fuel.

Try a hybrid car

Hybrid cars work with the use of both an electric motor and a traditional petrol or diesel engine. Both work in assistance together to power the vehicle. The electric motor can power the car alone if you are driving a short distance. With some types of hybrid vehicles, the electric engine can entirely power the vehicle. Compared with a traditional car, hybrid cars use up to 30% less fuel (so you’ll save yourself some money)! As well as being less expensive to run, hybrid cars produce lower emissions, so they are better for the environment too. There are plenty of different types of hybrid vehicles, and they are becoming more and more popular. For your next car purchase, one of these beauties could be the way to go!

To conclude

Motoring is a significant monthly expense, but with these tips and tricks, it doesn’t have to be so hefty. When you buy a new car, it’s best to set out a budget beforehand. With a solid budget, you’ll decrease the risk of an accidental overspend. When you budget, factor in your fuel and insurance costs too so you’ll have an exact figure. If you opt for a second-hand car, always check the market first to find out the average costs. If you find a price which seems too good to be true- enquire why it’s so cheap. You’ll want to test-drive everything that you consider to make sure the vehicle is a comfortable drive for you.