A simples guide

A guide to the cost of running a car

Cars cost money to run. That’s a simple fact and a lot of us spend substantial amounts on a new cars because we are tired of pouring money in to the old one.

But how do you work out when it’s time for a change?  Is there anything you can do to make your current car more efficient, without spending money? Well, we have the answers.

Running costs go beyond the fuel bills and the insurance. You need to factor in the likelihood and potential cost of repair work, depreciation and a number of other factors. 

What are the costs of running a car?

We all know that running a car can be expensive. But have you ever thought about where the bills come from? You need to consider the annual road tax, fuel, the cost of any remedial work for the MOT and any other repairs that crop up over the course of the year.

It’s always a gamble when you buy a used car because if something breaks then you will need to pay to fix it- but some dealerships offer warranties that can cover repairs. This means you could get a fixed cost for the repairs. It’s also worth noting that if you buy a warranty, the price will depend on the make, model and the age of the car (so some might be more affordable than others).

The road tax and fuel economy of the car will largely depend on the make, model and age of the car. You can calculate the annual running costs of your car by reviewing all your car-related bills for a year and adding them together- you can then highlight any areas where you think you could save money (for example. by walking more or looking for a more efficient engine). 

car insurance tax disc

How can I reduce my running costs?

You might think that you don’t have any influence on the car’s efficiency but you may be surprised. Yes, the car’s fuel economy mainly depends on the engine size and the age, but you can also take a number of steps to improve every car’s fuel efficiency.

You can save up to 3% on your fuel bill by just ensuring that the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. You can save up to another 2% by simply cleaning out your car. Yes, really, all that clutter adds up and you would save so much weight just by clearing it out, meaning you might feel the benefit at the fuel pump.

reducing the running costs of my car

More on reducing running costs?

If you have a roof or bike rack, then take it off when you’re not using it- it could cost you as much as 10% when it comes to your fuel efficiency.

You could also turn off your air con at lower speed as it’s actually more efficient to have your window open (air conditioning could cost you up to an extra 10% on your fuel bill so think of the savings if you keep it off).  And if you are stuck in stand still traffic, and it’s safe to do so, then turn your engine off- this could preserve your fuel and help you preserve your pennies.

Finally, don’t fill your car up when you put petrol in. Keep the tank less than half full and you’ll have to carry less weight when you drive, it really is that simple. This can save up to another 1% on your fuel bill.

So before you decide to change your car in the name of efficiency, look at all the things you can do right now to cut your fuel bill. Give them a try, work out how much of a saving you could make and then decide if you want to buy another car after all.

If you do, then make sure you’re making a genuine saving by working out your current car’s costs and then checking out your other options. And remember, you could save money on your car insurance if you compare and switch when it comes to renewal. You can compare car insurance quotes now and find the right deal for you.

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