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Travel is usually one of the more significant expenses in our budgets each month, and most of us see it as pretty essential to our day to day lives. However, what if there was a way to run a car and get to all the places we want without it costing a small fortune? Well, you will be pleased to know that there is, and all you need to do is to read on to find how.
Shop around for petrol
The number one cost for most people apart from the purchase price of the car is the petrol that it takes to run it. However petrol, like any other commercial asset, is something that varies in price from station to station. What this means is that you can save a significant amount on fuel costs if you know where to look.
It is always worth looking for petrol at a good price. Shopping around always pays off!
One way to do this is to use a website or app which tracks the cost per litre price and can help you find the cheapest one in your area. Another way to reduce the cost of petrol is to buy it from station or supermarkets that include it in their rewards scheme. Then you can use the points you earn to offset the cost.
Get the cheapest insurance cover
The other significant cost that is associated with running a car is the price of insurance. In fact, for some unlucky drivers that have points on their license, have a powerful car, or are young, it can be more expensive per year that the car itself!
Luckily, there are some ways to get your insurance premiums down to a more reasonable price. The easiest of these by far is to use a comparison service, we have our own you can use here, that takes information from many insurance providers and gives you side by side quotes. This can be helpful because you get to see what cover you get at that price and whether the saving is worth it.
Another way to reduce your insurance premium is to take an advanced driving course. These are courses that teach you the basic of defensive and economical driving, and those that complete them are recognised in many instances by providers as a safer prospect – something that means providers are often happier to lower the premiums they charge.
Look for hire purchase deals
Remember that you can save a fortune on the running cost of your car if you go for a hire purchase option too. The main benefit here is that you will pay a fixed amount each month, making it easy to budget for.
You will also get a new car to use and, as it will be under warranty, it means you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs if something goes wrong.
Many car manufacturers also run special deals where they reduce their original prices and even offer cash back or fuel cards as deal sweeteners, which are additional ways that you can slash the running costs of your car and leave more money in your pocket for other things.
Make sure your car is well maintained
When you’re struggling to make ends meet, it’s quite tempting to ignore that weird noise coming from your engine, and overlook the faint smell of burning as you’re driving down the road.
Unfortunately ignoring a small problem can cause it to get worse.
For example, you might only see a small bit of rust, but if it continues to expand it could soon affect the exhaust system, costing you £2-3K for a new catalytic converter.
As with your own health, prevention is better than needing a cure.
For many of us, getting the best price when selling a vehicle is something we only consider when it’s time to put the ‘for sale’ sign up. But with the used car market continuing to thrive, Gumtree, the fastest growing car site in the UK, emphasises the importance of keeping your car in good condition.
And don’t forget the effect the seasons can have on your car – winter months can be particularly brutal. Find out how you can save money on car maintenance during the winter.
A Gumtree spokesperson commented, “The primary factors that affect the value of a car are age, mileage and condition. By treating your car more considerately and keeping it in good condition you can help preserve its future value.”
Invest in breakdown cover
Shelling out for breakdown cover might sound counter-intuitive to saving money, but doing so could save you a small fortune in the long term.
With firms like the AA handling around 30,000 call-outs per month during the winter, you never know when you’re going to be the one in need of rescuing.
If you don’t have breakdown cover, the cost of a roadside emergency could wind up costing you a three or four figure sum — and who needs that when you’re trying to save money?
Don’t let your car become a False economy
If your motor is starting to fall to pieces and you’re regularly having to take it into the garage, maybe it’s time to admit you need a new motor.
We’re not saying you should rush out and buy a new car at the first sign of trouble, far from it, but if you’re spending more than what the car is worth fixing it, it might be time to upgrade to a more reliable vehicle.
With over 160,000 used vehicles available to search and purchase on Gumtree each day, buying and selling a pre-owned vehicle locally is now easier than ever and means you don’t have to look far when it comes to buying a new vehicle. Visit Gumtree’s ‘Car Price Index’ to get an indication on how much different makes and models of cars are worth to help you decide how much to list your car for and how much to pay when buying one.
This also gives you the opportunity to sell your existing car so you can put money towards your new motor. Read our guide on how to get the best deal when selling your car.