50 Ways to Save Money | Part 8-13

Motoring costs rocketing? Here are some quick tips to save money. Some will amount to a good few pounds, others to just a few pennies, but they all add up.

8. Choose wisely between petrol & diesel

Once, buying a diesel instead of petrol would automatically save you money. That’s not necessarily true today. For start, diesel costs more than petrol: on a supermini-sized car, the premium can be 10% or more. Diesel fuel costs no less than petrol and, while they usually give better economy, efficient new petrol engines are catching up. Unless your annual mileage is very high or you predominantly drive on motorways or other major roads, you might be best sticking to petrol. As a rule of thumb, if you drive more than 10,000 miles in a year – and tend to drive on faster roads – a diesel-engine car could work out cheaper. Anything less than that and a petrol-engine car might make more sense. For a deeper look into the argument, the petrol or diesel buyer’s guide has a short quiz to help determine what your ideal vehicle type is and how you can save money.

9. Take an advanced driving course

You can tweak your driving style to motor more economically. An advanced course will teach you these – you’ll still make good progress but be doing it more efficiently. Hypermiling is the art of driving as economically as possible, and once you take on the challenge, it can become addictive. Advanced driving courses could also bring down the premiums on your annual car insurance policy.

10. Haggle on car insurance

Car insurance can be one of the biggest motoring costs you face annually. Figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed that, on average, comprehensive cover costs £462 a year – the equivalent of £38.50 a month. Don’t simply accept your autorenewal quote; give your insurer a call to see if you can haggle and reduce it. Before you do so, make sure you see how well your quote and benefits compare against other insurance providers. You should also consider the factors that influence the cost of your premium. These include the type of car, where you live, where the car is kept overnight, your age, driving experience and your history of claims. While you’ll be unable to change your personal circumstances, you can save by storing the car in the garage, reducing the number of miles you drive, or you could purchase ‘black box’ insurance. You could consider borrowing a car when you need one and taking our temporary car insurance. Policies can be set up within 15 minutes and taken out for as little as an hour and up to 30 days. For learner drivers, there are flexible, short-term learner-driver policies that allow you to pay only for what you need until you pass your test from a day up to 5 months. RAC members often pay less for insurance with the RAC.

11. Claim for pothole damage

According to Potholes.co.uk, as many as one in 10 mechanical failures in the UK are caused by potholes, costing motorists an estimated £730 million yearly. Also, our breakdown data suggests pothole-related breakdowns have increased this year despite the mild weather, so your chances of falling victim to pothole damage are relatively high. If a pothole causes damage to your car, you may be able to claim compensation. The chances of your claim being successful, however, will significantly depend on whether the pothole has already been reported, as councils cannot be held liable for a defect they are not aware of. So, it’s worth being part of the solution and reporting them when you see them in the first place, which you can do remotely on your mobile using our tool. You can report a pothole and claim for damage should your vehicle suffer any damage.

12. Add family members to your car insurance.

We are not recommending ‘fronting’ as this is illegal. But presuming they drive your car as well as you, adding your partner as a named driver on the family car can balance the risk and reduce your premium by a few pounds. Also, if you’ve previously been a named driver on a policy and have yet to build up a no-claims bonus, but your partner has, some providers will allow you to transfer your partner’s noclaims bonus and, therefore, their discount to your new policy. A word of caution: adding a young or inexperienced driver could increase your premium, as the insurer will base the cost on the driver with the most risk. Knowing how to reduce new-driver car insurance costs can easily save you money.

13. Appeal against Parking Tickets (Penalty Charge Notices)

Think you’ve been unfairly caught out by a parking ticket? Try appealing it. Provide evidence, check the terms and conditions, present a mature and balanced case, and sometimes the ticket can be overturned. If you’re certain it’s unfair, it’s worth submitting an appeal. If you’ve been issued a ticket and must hold your hands up, you usually have 28 days to pay. In some cases, the fines will be reduced by 50% if you pay within 14 days.

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Article by: RAC

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