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Save Money on Car Expenses - Top Tips

Save on car expenses by making your car and driving more efficient

By making a few driving changes, you can make your car and driving more efficient which will, in turn, save you money on your car expenses and petrol.

How can I save on car expenses?

There are a number of simple tips that stretch from making your car more efficient, driving in a more efficient matter, finding the cheapest fuel and cutting down on motoring altogether.

Car efficiency

In order to improve your car efficiency:

  • Turning off air-conditioning - quite simply, air conditioning uses fuel; so if you switch it off, you will use less fuel.
  • Leave your roof rack off when you don't need it - the roof rack adds weight to the car. You may remember from school that F = MA (Force = Mass * Acceleration) - and by adding weight to the car, a greater force is needed to propel it forward, which uses fuel.
  • Don't leave your flag fluttering in the wind - same as above. The less weight you have in your car, the less fuel you will need as you decrease the drag coefficient.
  • Don't fill the car up completely - as fuel adds weight to the car, not filling up completely will decrease the drag and hence use less petrol.
  • Keep your tyres inflated to the correct volume - tyre pressures that are less than recommended will increase the drag coefficient so ensure your car's tyre pressures are correct.

Driving efficiently

In order to improve your driving efficiency, you could:

  • Use the correct gear - using the correct gear doesn't strain the engine as much.
  • Don't over-rev - over-revving will use more fuel, so stay below 3-4,000 revs to ensure you don't over-rev.
  • Slow down naturally - slowing down naturally means you don't need to use your brakes constantly which uses the cars' own momentum.

Finding the cheapest fuel

Fuel costs - whether it's petrol or diesel, vary greatly across the UK. In some cities, the difference between the highest and lowest petrol costs can be up to 10p per litre.

Find the cheapest price you can pay in your area and then see if supermarkets are running any promotions that you are able to use (i.e. you really want the product or will shop at the supermarket) in order to see if you can get more money off your fuel.

Don't forget that supermarkets offer vouchers entitling you to money off fuel if you spend a certain amount or buy certain products.

Supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury's are quite often running promotions with money off petrol.

Get cashback on your petrol purchase

If you have a cashback credit card or supermarket credit card, you can usually get cashback for your petrol purchases.

Use the appropriate credit card to make your petrol even cheaper.

Cutting down on motoring

Obviously, the less you use your car, the less it'll cost. You could:

  • Take the bus, a bike, train or public transport - as well as being better for the environment, it's good for your pocket. Although, this may not be the easiest method of transport.
  • Share driving - alternatively, you can cut down on motoring costs by sharing driving. For example, hitch a lift to work with a work colleague for a week - and then, the following week, let your friend/colleague hitch a lift with you. That way you'll both save on petrol.