50 Ways to Save Money | Part 20-26

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.

20. Check for obvious faults before your MOT

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT due to simple things such as faulty bulbs, tyre tread and empty washer fluid bottles. There are really simple things you can check for before an MOT – whether your bulbs are all working or the state of your tyres, even if the washer bottle contains any fluid. No matter how simple they are, the garage won’t rectify them before completing the MOT and will fail you for the most minor faults. Why risk the inconvenience and potential expense? For more MOT advice, read our page. You can keep on track and save money with your car’s maintenance by getting a service or MOT plan to spread the cost over two years. Service or MOT You can trust the RAC with new locally approved garages and NEW mobile mechanics.

21. Source car parts yourself

Been quoted big money by a dealer to replace parts? Consider buying them yourself online and using a local (but well-rated) garage to fit them. This could potentially save you several hundreds of pounds. If you’re looking for a reliable local garage, look no further than the RAC’s approved garages.

22. Know what your PCP mileage limit is and stick to it

If your PCP car finance scheme covers you for 9,000 miles a year and you cover 10,000 miles a year, you face excess mileage surcharges at the end of it. These can be punitive, but even a minor-sounding 0.06p per mile surcharge adds up to a £180 bill if you go 3,000 miles over. Often, it would have been cheaper to factor this mileage into the PCP deal in the first place. 

23. Empty your boot and ditch the roof rack 

Don’t carry unnecessary weight around with you. On average, every 50kg will increase your fuel consumption by 2%. A boot full of junk means you’re using extra fuel for nothing. Emptying it out will give small savings that will add up the more you drive – particularly if your motoring is mainly stop-start driving and city commutes. Remove your roof bars when they’re not in use. Not only do they weigh between 3kg to 5kg, they’ll also increase the amount of drag, increasing fuel consumption by about 10%.Keeping track of these top fuel saving tips can help you cut costs.

24. Car share or use a car club

Do you really need to drive? Could you car share instead? You don’t need to know someone going in the same direction; services such as blablacar.com bring trusted carpooling to everyone. Simply enter where you are and where you want to go, and the service will hunt out available rides. You can even add your own car to the service. Failing that, many of those who live in urban areas might save money by simply borrowing a car whenever they need one, rather than paying tax and insurance on a car they only use occasionally. Car clubs usually let you reserve cars via an online app, and you can often borrow them for anything from half an hour to a couple of days. Many clubs cost very little, or you can pay more for a bigger or more upmarket car. This includes all running costs, including tax, insurance and even fuel.

25. Monitor your fuel economy

Do you know how many miles per gallon (MPG) your car returns under everyday driving? Don’t rely on its trip computer – they’re not always accurate – but use an app on your phone to calculate your MPG every time you fill up. Once you know how well it performs, work out how you can improve it – and challenge yourself by making a game of it. Fuel-efficient driving can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds at the pump over a year.

26. Wash your car yourself

Hand car wash centres are everywhere. They charge just a few pounds and save you effort, so where’s the harm? Well, even a £5 fortnightly car wash adds up to £120 a year but, doing it yourself will not only save you money, it will also allow you to keep an eye on the condition of your car and get any damage rectified before it gets too bad. Knowing how to wash your car twice as well in half the time will save you time and money.

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