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Saving motoring money

Saving motoring money

With relentless fuel price increases, and the budget about to beat us on the head again, it’s time to think smart about how to save serious money from your motoring spend.

Gumtree Auto’s Jeff Osborne has a good list of easy-to-implement tips.

  • Fill up before petrol price increases or hold on until a reduced rate is implemented.
  • If you have a diesel vehicle, hunt around for the cheapest rate.
  • Use one, or several, of the many loyalty programmes to get “free” petrol.
  • Learn how to optimize fuel consumption with smooth driving which means less braking.
  • Save fuel by not excessively revving the car when you start it.
  • Stick to the speed limit – not only is it safer but speeding uses more petrol.
  • Improve fuel economy by removing extra weight or resistance – empty your boot and take off roof racks when they’re not needed.
  • Air conditioning costs you fuel, but open windows can cause uneconomic air resistance at higher speeds, so, if you can drive with windows closed and just a circulating fan on, you will be travelling optimally.
  • Drive less - cut out short distance trips by walking, and, for work commutes, use public transport or join a carpool/lift sharing scheme.  
  • Do your driving where possible in non-peak times – you will use less petrol on a quicker trip without constant stopping and starting.
  • Good tyres, properly balanced, will last longer and drive smoother than cheap ones – saving you money on fuel consumption and replacements.
  • Check tyre pressures constantly – an RAC study in the UK found that tyres under-inflated by only 15psi can use 6% more fuel.
  • Negotiate car insurance rates - it’s a very competitive market now so seek better offers.
  • Wash your car yourself – valets can be expensive.
  • Park your vehicle away from other cars if possible – this reduces the potential for expensive dings and scrapes.
  • Keep your car license up to date – postal reminders never arrive these days and missing your car registration date can cost you plenty in fines.

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