New Year, New Me or New Year, Same Old Me? Either way, the first few months of a new year can be tight; and driving around to get errands done can add to the bill. We’ve compiled 7 tips for you to try to help slash your motoring bill for the year ahead.
Well, we couldn’t not mention it, could we? Offering out your spare seats for any trips you make can earn you a contribution toward your petrol bill – without affecting your car insurance. You can work out exactly how much you could save using the Liftshare Savings Calculator!
Don’t just renew your insurance – compare policies (and don’t assume third party will be the cheapest!)
Even in the age of comparison sites dominating TV adverts, many insurers will still use your renewal as an opportunity to raise premiums – and will hope that you’re too busy to notice. Always do a quick comparison of not just providers and prices, but cover levels too.
While you’re looking, be sure to get quotes for both third party and fully comp policies – it’s a quirk, but sometimes fully comprehensive cover can be cheaper, as looking for more thorough cover can mean you’re rated as low risk.
Haggle on breakdown cover
Another renewal trick is to always phone your breakdown provider when your cover is up. Whilst many of us switch between the two major players every year, you may be able to save yourself the hassle with a quick call. A recent survey showed that 88% of AA customers and 86% of RAC customers successfully haggled their costs down – a great stat that shows it’s definitely worth a try!
…without necessarily cutting down speed! Accelerating gradually without over-revving can help more fuel flow; getting you to the same speed using less power. Slowing a car using natural momentum rather than continuing to brake also saves on fuel, as does staying in the highest relevant gear without labouring the engine.
Check the expiry date on your license photocard
The photo on your photocard license must be changed every 10 years, without fail. Most of us don’t check our card very often, unless asked to supply it. However – if you’re pulled over and asked for your license, and it’s out of date, you’ll be hit with a whopping £1,000 fine. Be sure to check your card and keep in mind when it’s expiring, to save yourself the cost and hassle – it’s only £14 to renew online!
Don’t use Google to pay tax
When your car tax is due, and you want to pay online, follow one golden rule – don’t google it!
Several sites that sit at the top of search results charge a premium for just linking through to the site, so you could unwittingly be paying nonsense ‘admin’ or ‘referral’ fees that you just don’t need to. Always use the GOV.UK site directly to pay car tax.
Use Council-run MOT centres
The maximum price a garage can charge you for an MOT is £54.85 (for a standard car), so earnings are topped up with repairs required. Yet local councils also offer MOTs – and as their centres normally don’t do repairs, there’s no incentive for them to charge more. If you do need work doing, you can just transfer to another garage. Find your local council’s MOT centre and book in now!
Author Lex Barber