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Motoring can be a significant outgoing in your monthly expenditure but it’s more often than not an essential cost that is hard to avoid. Weekly shops, taxiing family and friends around, commuting, going on days out as well as many other commitments – vehicles usually help to facilitate our day-to-day life. Your family might even have two cars, which could mean double the cost. With all these expenses adding up, below we run you through some frugal motoring tips to help you ease the financial burden.
Consider becoming a one-car family
A lot of families have been making the switch from 2 cars to 1 in recent years for many reasons. First of all, with more people having the option to work more from home, reliance on commuting has dropped meaning that people need to drive less. If this is the case for your family or relationship, consider if 2 cars are actually just burning a hole in your pocket for no real reason other than luxury. One car is certainly cheaper to manage than 2 and you might find it useful to plan your schedules a little more consciously.
Shop around online
If you aren’t looking online before replacing your tyres or booking services and maintenance then you should really start to do so. Online competition forces down the price of many suppliers who are competing against each other and you can usually find better deals than by simply taking your car to the local garage because it’s just what you’ve always done. Granted, there is an argument for convenience and trusted relationships, but it can never hurt just to have a look.
Use fuel price apps to find the cheapest pumps in your area
One for the real frugal brains out there – there are fuel price apps that can help you to source the cheapest fuel in your area, potentially helping to save a few pounds every time you fill up. You may have to drive a little further, but if you fill up the tank at a good price, the cost-benefit can make the added trip worthwhile. Just don’t drive silly distances to get a cheaper price because you will just spend the savings that you would have received from the cheaper supplier.
Don’t neglect maintenance
Frugal living isn’t about buying cheap, it’s about the overall cost of things in the long run and spending money where it matters. With this in mind, don’t neglect repairs and maintenance on your car because you will often end up having to spend more later to keep it running. Book your MOT online before your expiry date and think about having a service so you can tick two off the list in the same visit. Make sure to keep up with your DIY maintenance too – maintaining oil and fluid levels, cleaning the interior and exterior, and keeping the tyres inflated. These (and others) all contribute to reducing the chances of needing expensive repairs and maintenance down the line.
Understand how your driving style can increase wear and fuel consumption
Finally, you should understand how your driving style can impact your motoring costs so you can make changes to optimise. Aggressive acceleration and braking increase wear and tear of parts and components, and they can increase your fuel consumption which will all end up costing you down the line. Smooth driving and avoiding potholes and other road hazards will ensure the most efficient use of your vehicle and you’ll be glad when you look back at your expenses.