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10 top tips to keep the pounds in your pocket at the steering wheel

  Thursday, 9 August 2012

The annual costs of motoring don’t add up for some motorists who are clearly finding it very difficult to fund the running of a car on top of rising household bills. Even if you own what some people may perceive as a cheap little runner, it is quite easy for the cost of car insurance, fuel, MOTs, car tax and new parts to run into four figures.

That’s why here at ASM Auto Recycling we want to help your money stretch further with our ten top tips to keep more money in your back pocket whilst on the road.

Check all levels of car insurance cover

If you own a relatively cheap vehicle the temptation is to opt for third party, fire and theft insurance as this is stereotypically the most cost-effective option. However, this may sound bizarre but fully comprehensive policies have been found to be cheaper for some motorists, simply because some drivers are considered a lower risk profile as a result of adopting fully comp cover.

Visit a dedicated MOT centre

Annual MOTs are a compulsory requirement for any vehicle aged three years or more. The maximum fee garages can charge for an annual MOT is £54.95 for cars, but unsurprisingly it is not this initial cost that often stings drivers – it is the charge for essential repairs in order for it to pass that hits them hard. However, if you are suspicious about back street garages why not take your car to one of nearly 100 dedicated test centres on the UK Council MOTs list who will conduct an unbiased assessment simply because they do not carry out repairs of any level.

Change driving habits

It is possible to save precious money on fuel bills just by adopting a more responsible attitude at the wheel. Try hard not to over-rev the engine and keep under 3,000 revs when changing gear. Always drive in the highest gear possible without losing power.

Never accept a parking ticket

If you feel that you have got a good case to argue against a parking ticket then make sure you do. Studies have shown that half of people who take their appeal to an independent tribunal prevail and have the charges dropped. Never accept a parking ticket unless it is from an official body and you know you are in the wrong!

Only use air conditioning when truly necessary

Did you know that you can improve driving efficiency by up to eight per cent just by keeping your air conditioning switched off? Air conditioning actually uses a large amount of fuel and subsequently you should only use it during particularly warm days or if you are going to be driving at high speeds on a motorway for an extended length of time.

Purchase used car parts yourself

Car parts can be a very expensive problem particularly if you are forced to purchase them from a garage or franchise dealership. But if you don’t mind putting in the hard yards you can easily acquire your own parts and then obtain quotes for fitting. Used car parts are an even more efficient, ethical way of maintaining your car. You can purchase recycled car parts from salvage vehicles that are a fraction of the price brand new.

Never lie on a car insurance quote

Although the temptation is there to tell a few white lies on your car insurance quote form, the unfortunate fact is that it will eventually catch up with you in the end. In fact lying on your insurance form is a form of fraud – at best your insurance will simply be rendered invalid, at worst you may be prosecuted for driving without valid insurance which will hit you in the pocket as hard as you can imagine.

Don’t drive with a full tank of fuel

There’s no two ways about it – fuel is heavy! By filling up your tank to the brim you may think you are doing the right thing but in fact you’re simply adding up to the weight of the vehicle. The less fuel in the tank the more efficiently it actually drives. Filling up little and more often can actually improve the efficiency of your motor.

Reduce clutter

If you are generally a messy person then you will probably be carrying unnecessary weight inside the car. Try your best to reduce the amount of mess inside the vehicle as this gives it the best opportunity to accelerate with minimal effort.

Keep tyres inflated

Do you pay much attention to the inflation of your tyres? If you don’t then it’s perhaps not surprising your car struggles for fuel efficiency. Lower tyre pressure increases the drag on a vehicle, meaning the car uses more fuel to power itself on the road. Ensure the pressures are regularly checked.

Why not print this checklist and keep it with you in your car as a reminder? Not only can you save money but you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too!

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