Here's how to save money on your car
Whether you're sporting a brand new motor or behind the wheel of your trusty used car, driving costs money.
With new cars being registered with a 22-plate from March 1, this month is the perfect time to think about saving cash on your motoring outgoings.
The new plate will apply to all new vehicles registered until August 31, 2022.
Whether you're collecting the keys to a new set of wheels - or just running an old reliable - here are some ways to help soften the impact on your bank balance.
Wessex Fleet have looked at how drivers could potentially save cash and drawn up a list of tips to reduce the money spent on your car.
7 tips to save money on your car
1 Tweaking your job title on your insurance
Insurance companies assess a wide range of factors when calculating how much your insurance will cost – this includes what your job title is and how much risk is associated with it.
MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis gave tips on how to shave money off your car insurance by tweaking your job title.
It should still accurately describe what you do, but for example, one user saved £100 by using "software" rather than "computer games".
Have a play around with titles in the remit of what you do to see what you could save.
2 Lease a car rather than buying one outright
Leasing with car finance can be a great way to rent one with lower monthly payments for a set period of time – and then if at the end of the agreement you decide you want to keep it, you can.
You can choose between hire purchase (HP) and personal contract purchase (PCP) to decide which is best for you and your financial situation.
Car finance options usually have warranty for a few years, so any repairs or maintenance will be covered, leaving you less unexpected payments.
3 Keep tyres inflated – and other factors to save on petrol
The average daily price for a litre of fuel has risen to an all-time high in the UK.
While your demand for fuel can depend on uncontrollable circumstances like travelling for work, there are several tips you can follow to reduce fuel consumption, which therefore will save you money from buying less fuel:
Keep your tyres inflated to their recommended capacity. Low tyre pressure can increase the drag on your car, which uses more fuel.
Keep car clutter to a minimum and remove anything you have stored away unnecessarily so it takes less effort for your car to travel.
Try not to use air conditioning where possible, especially at lower speeds, as this uses more fuel.
Use petrol price websites to see which garages and supermarkets offer the cheapest fuel in your area.
Drive economically to minimise the amount of fuel you use – braking and accelerating harshly over long periods of time can be a drain. Taking your time with increasing and decreasing your speed will help reduce the amount of fuel you use.
4 Add experienced drivers to your car’s insurance
Insurance companies reduce their prices if you add a driver with experience and a clean driving license.
This is because insurance companies assume you’ll spend less time driving and therefore have less chance of having an accident as you are sharing the vehicle.
With their permission, you should experiment by adding different friends or family members to your policy.
5 Shop around for car insurance to save £264 on average
Depending on your age, driving history, the car you drive and even your job, your car insurance can get pretty expensive.
Even if it’s lower than others, it is still an important outgoing to consider when budgeting.
The best way to save on your car insurance is by comparing prices online. Using comparison websites can show you the best possible deals considering your information, which can save you up to £264 on average.
If you’re a young or new driver, you could consider getting a black box installed to keep costs down.
6 Save £182 by washing your car at home
Experts suggest you should wash your car every two weeks to stop dirt and grime building up on the bodywork.
It could end up costing you £182 a year if you visit an Automatic Wash and Dry at a BP or Shell garage every fortnight, at £7 per time.
This cost will rise significantly if you get your car valeted each time to clean both the interior and exterior, with the average cost of a full valet in London coming to £45. Using the same fortnightly example, this would cost £1,170 across the space of a year.
Washing your car at home instead is a very straightforward task. The shampoo and wax you’ll need is also very cheap, in comparison to visiting automatic or hand car wash locations on a regular basis.
7 Transition to an electric vehicle (EV) and save £1,038 per year
Although it will cost more in the short term to buy an EV, it has been estimated that you can save around 11p per mile by driving one as opposed to a petrol alternative.
On the basis of the average British driver travelling 7,600 miles per year, a saving of around £858 on fuel costs can be made by swapping to an EV.
If you then charged your EV at home, the annual electricity cost would be averaged at £342, while the equivalent in petrol costs would be £1,200.
You would also save on vehicle tax, as zero-emissions electric cars do not pay any road tax – saving £180 in the first year and £150 each year after that, compared to most petrol and diesel cars.
Therefore, with fuel and tax savings considered, you could see yourself with a saving of more than £1,000 per year.
You can also receive a government grant of £1,500 to help reduce the price when buying a new EV if you meet the requirements, such as the car costing £32,000 or less and having CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km.