How To Cut Down On Car And Travel Costs

David Beard

Written by David Beard on November 26, 2018

Updated May 21, 2019

A woman who has reduced the cost to drive her car

Being a motorist is expensive, particularly if you’re a car owner and have a regular commute to and from work. When getting rid of your car entirely isn’t an option, looking at ways to cut down your transport costs is the next best step. Luckily, there are a number of different ways in which you can reduce the amount you are paying for your transport costs.

Cutting The Cost Of Driving

Buying a car doesn’t come cheap, and neither does maintaining it once you have it in your possession. Monthly costs such as petrol or diesel and road tax plus the often-costly monthly insurance fee mean that you’ll find yourself paying above and beyond for the practicality of having a car.

Cutting down how much you spend on your car – and ultimately on your travel costs – doesn’t have to be too difficult a feat. Petrol or diesel, whichever your car runs on, is one of the highest monthly costs attached to having and driving a car, so ensuring that you’re being as economical with the fuel you are using is important.

Driving more quickly and jerkily (such as fast braking and acceleration) uses more fuel and using your in-car heating, and air-conditioning systems do the same thing. Doing all that you can to be fuel economical, such as driving smoothly and ensuring your tyres are at the correct pressure, can significantly cut down your monthly travel costs.

Lower Your Insurance Premiums

Another particularly expensive monthly cost – unless of course, you were able to pay your cost as an annual payment- is insurance. Often, consumers have a habit of taking out their insurance based on the fact that they recognise a particular brand name or a family member of theirs recommended the insurance provider to them.

However, this is not the most cost-effective way of securing your car insurance. Different cars and different drivers have different insurance premiums, and while a particular insurance company might be a good choice for one person, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a good choice for another.

Comparing different insurance policies across multiple insurance providers is the most cost-effective method of finding a reliable and affordable premium. You may also discover that you are overestimating the number of miles you use on an annual basis. Try to be accurate and as close as possible, taking care not to underestimate the amount you use, as this can invalidate your policy in the event of a claim.
If you have multiple people on your policy, reducing this may well save you additional money. Remember to take any young adults off your insurance when they get their own insurance if you have previously put them on your insurance plan.

If you have the money to pay your car insurance on an annual basis – do it. Paying your insurance in monthly instalments, while convenient and more manageable can actually result in between a ten and twenty-five percent increase in the overall cost of your insurance in the long run.

While it may seem to be a small payment, every little helps and every saving is better in your pocket than in your premium provider’s pocket.

Cutting Down Other Travel Costs

Often, costs relating to your car are unexpected, and there’s absolutely nothing worse than having to take your car to the garage to get it fixed. A simple way of ensuring that you aren’t hit by too many unexpected costs is to keep on top of things related to the upkeep of your car. While it might be tempting to miss getting your car serviced, doing so when it is due ensures that any underlying issues don’t develop into more serious, expensive issues.

Check Your Tyres

Making sure that the air in your tyres is kept at the right pressure is another way of being cost-efficient. Doing so lowers the chances of your tyres being under or overinflated. Overinflated tyres can be more easily damaged by hazards on the road, running the risk of needing to be replaced. On the other hand, underinflated tyres drive much more closely to the road and are much more easily damaged, as well as increasing rolling resistance and ultimately making your car less economic fuel-wise.

Is A Car Journey Necessary?

The temptation to jump into the car when heading to the shops is too much; it’s quick, it’s convenient, and it makes life a lot easier. While not necessarily saving you all that much money in the short-term, in the long-term making the active decision to walk or cycle shorter distances definitely has the potential to turn the pennies into pounds.

Not only is it good for your health, but it also ensures that you’re only using your car when you actually need to.

Sometimes, third party insurance isn’t actually more reasonably priced than fully comprehensive insurance. Third party insurance is the legal minimum that insurance providers have to offer their customers, but it isn’t always the cheapest type of insurance. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.

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