If you’re an old-hand, this won’t come as any surprise. If you’re a new driver, you’ve probably already had this nasty realisation. Driving a car costs money. And quite a lot of it. After the initial expense of buying the car in the first place, plus insurance and all that stuff, cars still cost money to run and maintain. Which is why we’ve drawn together three little changes which could help you save money on your car.
1. Find the best petrol prices
Okay, it sounds obvious but lots of us get petrol when we need it at the closest place we can. We could be making savings by being just a bit pickier about where we buy. Obviously don’t drive miles out of your way (then you’ll just be using more fuel) but it is worth comparing petrol prices. Websites like http://www.petrolprices.com/ compare prices in your area for you.
On the first postcode search we ran, we found potential savings of 6.2p a litre. Over a year, that really adds up.
2. Stop idling
Idling is what you’re doing if you’re not going anywhere but your engine is still running. Think waiting in line at a drive thru or keeping the car going while someone runs into the shop. We actually do it a lot. The thing is that idling for even a short amount of time uses more fuel than just turning your car off and then on again. So idling wastes fuel which wastes money.
Idling is also bad for your car. It can cause oil contamination, damaging engine parts. It can lead to spark plugs getting dirtier more quickly, leading to more fuel consumption. And it can lead to corrosion by letting water condense in the exhaust system. And damaged parts lead to more costs down the line.
There’s more we could say about idling (and probably will at some point) but we’ll finish by saying it’s just a bad idea all round.
3. Drive more slowly
It sounds boring, we know, but here’s the deal. The faster you go, the more fuel you use. We don’t mean drive at a snail’s pace everywhere you go but don’t drive faster than you need to. Driving at 70mph can use up to up to 15% more fuel than driving at 50mph, and driving at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph (so said the AA in 2014). Statistics on this one seem to vary but you get the general idea. It can vary from car to car (and might be different for diesel cars) but it’s generally recognised that the optimum speed is 50-55mph so try to avoid the temptation to put your foot down when you don’t need to!
And there you go. Three simple tricks to help you save money on your car. Why not try them out and let us know what you find?
We’ll be sharing lots more of these little nuggets of gold with you over the next few months as well so keep an eye out.
Need new or used van/car parts at awesome prices? Use our part finder to get quotes from breakers across the UK.