Cut Your Driving Costs in 5 Simple Steps

16-11-2015 | Anne Seymour |

There’s no getting around the fact that driving these days isn’t cheap.

However, by following these five simple steps, you might be able to save yourself a surprising amount of money and make your motoring more affordable.

1) Get the best deals on car insurance

If you’re not careful, you can end up shelling out a small fortune on financial cover for your car. But by making sure you don’t simply go for the first offer you see, or renew year after year with your existing provider without searching for better options, you may be able to bring down your insurance bill.

Firstly, make sure you scour the market for the best deals. You could use a price comparison site or enlist the services of a specialist broker.

For example, if you go to Chill for car insurance, the broker will search up to 14 cover providers to help find you the most competitive offer. You may also be able to bring your insurance costs down by increasing your vehicle security, raising your voluntary excess and forgoing policy add-ons like breakdown cover.

2) Drive more efficiently

Your driving style can have a big impact on your motoring bills too.

Did you know that driving at 60mph uses up to nine per cent less fuel than driving at 70mph? Changing up a gear when you hit 2,000 revs on a diesel engine or 2,500 revs on a petrol engine can also increase your efficiency.

Think twice before turning on your air conditioning as well. Using these systems excessively can up your fuel bills by up to 11 per cent. Another tip is to plan your routes carefully in advance to keep your mileage to a minimum.

3) Find the best places for fuel

It also helps to pay attention to the where you fill your car up. You can use comparison sites to find the best deals on petrol and diesel in your area.

Another way to save money is to take advantage of supermarket deals. Often, these chains provide money-off vouchers if you spend over a certain amount in-store. Whatever you do, try to avoid filling your vehicle on motorways. Service stations are among the most expensive places for fuel.

4) Take the time to check your tyres pressure

Especially when you’re busy, you might struggle to find the time to check your car’s tyres pressure. However, it’s worth taking a few minutes to do this at least once a month, or before long journeys.

According to the RAC, you can lower fuel consumption by up to two per cent if you maintain the correct pressure. It’s also safer to drive when your tyres are pumped up to the appropriate level.

5) Consider car sharing

You might be able to bring your bills down by entering into car sharing schemes. Perhaps you could come to an arrangement with colleagues who travel on similar routes to work to share out the driving. Especially if you have a long commute, this may help you to slash your spending.

Running a car inevitably comes with certain costs, but following suggestions like these can help to lighten the financial load.

About Anne Seymour

Anne is a young webpreneur, interested in all things related to money: earning, investing, saving. She's paid off her student loans and now is looking forward to doing a lot of writing and traveling.

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Recent Comments

  • JustAnotherSoccerMom

    November 17, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Your article is extremely useful! I had no idea you save gas when you shift gears, nobody told me about this and I never would have thought to ask! I’ll definitely give this a try later today!
    Oh, and gas coupons = life savers! I buy food anyway, I accumulate points on my fidelity cards which I can convert into gas coupons later on!

  • Gary White

    November 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    When my dear, beloved, significant other droves our car, she always comes home with an empty gas tank! I cannot, for the life of me, understand how she does it!

    Joking aside, at least we managed to get a sweet deal on our car insurance this year! We switched to a new company in April, they offered us A TON of benefits (which we did not have with our old insurance), for almost half the price we used to pay with the old company! Saved us hundreds of bucks this year! It sure was worth shopping around a bit!

  • Maria "Mery" Teresa

    November 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Great tips, Ramona! 🙂
    One can save a lot of money by following these 5 tips.
    I’m also very glad they changed the laws a bit, here in Italy. A few years back, you couldn’t switch from a car company insurer to another that easy. The cancellation process took about 3 months, it was a real headache!
    Now, if you find a better deal, you just sign the new papers and you’re done with it! We also have a few websites that will compare companies, prices and what the insurance includes (because you can customize it to your needs). Sometimes prices differ with as much as €500-€600 /year !! That’s a lot of money!

    • Ramona

      November 19, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Oho, that’s huge. Being able to switch fast and also have all these pricing comparison sites does help a lot. It’s nice to see how much money you can save just by doing your due diligence.

  • Chonce

    November 19, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I definitely agree with searching for the best deal on car insurance. Some companies have crazy high premiums so it’s always best to compare and shop around to save money.

  • Jasmine2015

    November 21, 2015 at 2:17 am

    I have been seeing this advertisement for a company that helps you compare car insurance. Then there are some apps that help you see where on the map where the gas stations are and which ones are cheaper. If you have something like Google maps it can help you find the fastest route. There may even be some gas stations that offer some type of membership program.

  • Special Seagull

    November 23, 2015 at 8:51 am

    While I completely agree with the first 4 tips, I have to say, car sharing is not my thing! I like my ‘independence’, so to say, I leave when I want, take the route I want, and so on and so forth. I don’t like the idea of having to do things on someone else’s terms, let alone rely on someone else’s driving. I just don’t feel safe if it’s not me the one driving.

  • M. Freelancer

    November 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I have a whole different approach on saving money when driving: I don’t drive! 😀

    Joking aside, I decided to sell my car and only keep my wife’s Rover. I plan on working from home long term anyway, so why pay for 2 insurances, pay twice for the regular car checkups, etc., etc. I believe we made smart move by giving up the second car.

  • Kat #alwaysbroke

    December 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with all the tips you suggested!
    May I add one more?
    When shopping around for a car, maybe include the fuel consumption among the car buying criteria! Of course, fuel efficiency shouldn’t be the most important feature your car should have, but I’d say it’s one that could save you money on the long run!

  • Sharon

    February 9, 2016 at 2:35 am

    There is an app that I like to use called Gas Buddy and it shows me the best prices in fuel. I don’t always go for the cheapest because I do believe that getting quality gas makes a difference in fuel economy. If you are looking to purchase a new car I definitely would take fuel economy into consideration especially if you are the type to do a lot of commuting on the regular basis. I absolutely agree that you should make it a habit to check your tire pressure because even though it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference it definitely matters and you should refer to your vehicle manual (or sticker on your driver side door usually) for the ideal tire pressure of your vehicle.

  • Mack Leslie

    April 7, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I am so glad I found this! I’m really looking for ways to cut down my driving costs, I drive to work about 20 miles and then back, so this is really useful for me! Wouldn’t consider car sharing though, I prefer my ‘independence’, so to say. Tried car sharing before, had only bad luck, my colleagues were either late or they ‘forgot’ to offer to pay for gas…

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