As I have mentioned before, owning a car can be very expensive. There are variety of costs that are associated with running a car. It can be frustrating and financially draining. However, I am about to make a burden/treat of owning a car a little easier by providing you with top 3 tips to follow to prolong the life of your car as well as spend less of your hard-earned cash on your car. Let’s make your “expensive convenience” to a “great convenience”.
- Drive slower and with care
Wait! Before you dismiss this, hear me out. Yes. driving slower and more carefully can be “boring”, “frustrating” and “inconvenient” ordeal at times. However, if you realise how much money you can save on fuel and other expenses by doing so, you will quickly lay off the accelerator and coast to your destination making money with every passing mile. Let’s break down some of the benefits:
a. Fuel Saving
The biggest change you will see is in your fuel costs. I myself am a reasonably slow driver. I was told I drive like a grandad by my girlfriend once or twice in the past (hope she was joking), however, either way I am proud of my careful and slow driving nature. I save a great deal of money on fuel as a result.
I used to drive quite aggressively when I first got a car. I was in my first job at the time and money didn’t mean a thing. I was spending up to €30 per week on fuel driving around as if I was in a rally race. However, once I dialled back and decided to drive more conservatively I noticed that I could get by on €20 worth of fuel doing exact same mileage. That’s a 33% reduction in cost. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself this week. I now formed a habit of driving a lot slower and as a result formed a habit of saving money on fuel also. If you want to get to work on time, get up 10min earlier in the morning.
b. Fines Savings
By driving slower and more carefully you will avoid speeding fines as well as a less risk of getting into accident which can be very expensive if you find yourself in one. Cars are weapons and if they are abused for a sake of few seconds of thrill it can be very costly for you.
c. Wear and Tear Savings
Aggressive driving increases the wear and tear on your engine, suspension, brake disc & pads, tyres etc. that will eventually will need to be replaced. Avoid going to the garage and splashing the cash on car parts and service by caring for your car and drive it as if it us a Rolls Royce, not a Ferrari on an open track. Just as an example: I have a friend who drives a VW Golf 1.9L Diesel. He loves to floor the accelerator, comes to a junction slam on the breaks and then swiftly put his foot down again. He is a speed and thrill junkie and he ends up replacing his tyres on a regular basis – huge unnecessary cost. That type of driving annoys me so much. He is wearing the breaks, tyres, engine, belts etc. in the car at an accelerated pace. Take it from me, car parts are extremely expensive. Save yourself the hassle and unnecessary burden by driving with a bit more care. Your car is possibly one of your biggest asset. Look after it and it will look after you.
Insurance is always one of the biggest costs when it comes to running a car. In Ireland Insurance companies seem to charge what they like with little to no logical explanation for it. I myself got stung several times with paying some unreasonable insurance premiums. However, there is always a way to save more and here are some tricks to ensure you get the best deal:
- Get the basic package if you can. If you live in a reasonably safe area getting just a “Third Party Insurance” should be enough and a lot cheaper than getting “Comprehensive”. Getting a full insurance package could cost you hundreds in comparison to getting the basic one.
- By having a parking space in front of your house this decreases insurance premium even more so. Insurance companies don’t like cars parked on the streets. Make sure to tell them you park it in a safe and secure area outside your house. Your wallet will thank you for it.
- Increase your Excess amount. If you are willing to pay more upfront in case of an accident, insurance companies give you a cheaper quote.
- Build up your no claims bonus. This leads to huge savings in the future – to do so, refer to saving point #1 above.
- Take an Advance Driving course i.e. ROSPA. With a cert from ROSPA (or equivalent) would surely half your insurance premium at least. Insurance companies love rewarding experienced/advanced skill drivers.
- Drive less. The less mileage you drive on annual basis the cheaper your insurance premium.
- Pressure the insurance company for a better deal. A lot of insurance companies give you some money off if you insist on it. Every quote allows room for negotiation so make sure to haggle with the broker.
- Don’t go with the first insurance company you find. Ring around. Look for the best price.
If anybody has any more tips on how to safe money through car insurance please feel free to include your tips in the comment section below. We are all on this together, let’s help each other.
This is one of these things where:
“you must spend money to save money”
(I know I just made that saying up, but you get the point). Due to the natural wear and tear of the car and engine as a whole a regular service is vital. Regular oil, filters, coolant etc. change will prolong the life of the car. It can be relative cheap in some garages or you can do it yourself if you are competent enough to do so for even cheaper. Either way spending some money on maintenance on regular basis will ensure you will stay out from car dealerships for a long time to come.
I myself make sure to service my car on a regular basis. I have a car maintenance log and do my research of what and when needs to be replaced and I do so religiously. A clean and healthy car is a happy car. (Another saying I made up but, its true!).
a. Carpool where possible.
b. Turn Air Conditioning off when it is not needed (it uses some additional fuel).
c. Walk/cycle where you can.
d. Avoid rush hour driving.
e. Make sure your tyre pressure is always on point. Flat tyres increase fuel costs.
f. Don’t have unnecessary weight in your car.
g. Use cruise control where possible – helps with fuel saving.
h. Use as high of gear as possible wherever you can. Higher gear = higher fuel savings.
i. Want to wash your car? Do it yourself instead of giving money to an Automated Car Wash.
As always thank you very much for your time reading this blog. I hope that all of you have learned something from this blog and I hope some of the above tips will help some of you in not all of you with your car expenses. If anybody has any more tips that would help us all to dial down on car costs then please feel free to share. We are all in this together. Cars are expensive but a little bit of saving here and there goes a long way in the grand scheme of things. If you can save €5 a week by driving slower and less aggressive that results in €260 per year and over a span of 10 years that figure grows to a €2600. A lot of money eh? No wonder grand-parents are so rich.
Once again, thanks again for reading and I will chat to you on the next one.