Garage servicing costs are high, but not always as high as they have been in the past as discerning motorists shop around for the best deals forcing garages to offer competitive rates.
You can save a considerable amount on servicing by shopping around for the best fixed price deals.
But you should stick to the servicing intervals recommended by the car manufacturer and always keep a full service history to help retain the value of your car.
Whilst you must never drive on damaged tyres or tyres with less than the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm across three quarters of the width of the tyre (though the AA recommends at least 3 mm for winter driving), you can prolong their life by taking proper care of them.
Ensure that they are correctly inflated as over or under-inflated tyres aren’t only dangerous, they will wear out more quickly and they will increase your fuel consumption.
Check the tread for any foreign matter such as stones and chips that might have lodged there, and have your wheels aligned; badly aligned wheels can double tyre wear rate.
Do you carry around unnecessary clutter in your boot?
Many people use their car boots as a dumping ground for all manner of items.
The heavier your load, the more fuel you will use; this makes a big difference over time.
Declutter your boot (and the rest of your car) and save money.
The way we drive can make a huge difference to fuel consumption. Every car has an optimal fuel efficiency typically around 25 mph to 55 mph.
Driving at 70 mph reduces efficiency by 17%, while driving at 80 mph reduces it by a staggering 28%. Keep your speed down and save fuel.
Other ways in which you can improve your fuel efficiency are:
Car manufacturers make big efforts to improve the aerodynamics of their design to reduce drag and improve fuel economy, so why do so many people fit their cars with roof bars and boxes which they never remove?
They are great assets when you need them, but taking them off when you don’t need them will save a considerable amount of fuel.
Choosing the right insurance for you will save you money in the long run, and it’s not always best to go for the cheapest premium. For instance will you need a courtesy car in the case of an accident?
Will a small car be sufficient or will you need a larger car or people carrier for the daily school run? If your needs are covered by your insurer than you will save unnecessary expenditure should you need to make a claim.
Autumn and winter are the worst times of year for car breakdowns and insurance claims.
It seems that many of us almost forget how to drive in the dark.
Always take your time at junctions and keep on the lookout for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycles which can be difficult to spot after dark. Make a special point of looking for them.
It's also important to ensure that your car is ready to cope with the winter months. Some tips for doing so are:
By following these tips you won’t just save on your motoring costs, you’ll be safer on the roads and less likely to have to make a claim on your car insurance.
First published 06/10/2014