Most of us have cars and we will all be aware as to how expensive they can be. There are things that you can do to reduce the cost of different aspects to running a car once you have bought it. Obviously, when you buy a car comparing the value for money is really important, but running it can have higher costs so it is wise to be careful that you are not spending more than you need to on doing this.
Car tax has to be paid by law and so if you owe it then you have to pay it. However, if you pay a year’s tax up front then it is cheaper than paying it in instalments so saving up money so that you are able to do this will help. Also, the tax varies depending on the vehicle that you have. It is worth looking into this and then when you are next thinking of buying a new car, you can consider whether it is better to get one which has lower tax.
The MOT has to be done by law every year. Most places will charge a similar fee for carrying out the MOT, but it can be worth checking locally to be sure. What can be expensive is if they need to do any repairs on the car if it fails the MOT. If you go to a cheaper place then the repairs will be cheaper, but many people are tempted to go to a dealer as they will have the right parts. It can be a dilemma, but make sure that you do some checks yourself, such as tyres and you will be able to get those replaced cheaply before the MOT so that you do not have to pay the dealer to do it. Alternatively, have the test done a good few weeks before it is due and then you will have time to find someone else to do the necessary repairs before you get it retested. The only problem with this is that you will have to pay twice for the test, whereas if you have it repaired at the place that did the test it is likely that they will retest it for free.
Car insurance can be particularly expensive for young people or drivers that have had accidents but it is something that many people are concerned about the cost of. There are also different levels of insurance cover and it can be tricky to know which one to go for. If you are on a really tight budget you may go for the minimum but this will mean that if you damage your car, you will get no money through the insurance to repair it, so you need to be careful. Insurance is also highly competitive so it is well worth comparing prices when you are choosing it to make sure that you are not paying more than necessary. You will also find that some companies will be cheaper if you pay annually rather than monthly so it is worth thinking about whether that is something that you will be able to afford.
Fuelling a car is a regular expense that everyone will be very aware of. Whether you use petrol, diesel, electricity or something else, the cost can really add up. It is therefore worth making sure that you do what you can to keep it down. By comparing costs of fuel, you may be able to make sure that you go to the cheapest place, but if you have to drive further to get to a cheaper garage it may not be worth it considering the extra fuel you use to get there. Apart form comparing prices the easiest way to cut down on fuel is to use the car less. So, if you can car share or walk somewhere then this could be wise as it will save money. Also reducing weight in the car will help to reduce fuel consumption so remove roof top boxes, roof racks, excess luggage in the boot and things like this.
Repairs and Services
It can be tempting to go to the cheapest garage for repairs only when you need them and not get the car serviced. Although this will save you money in the short run, it could mean that your car will not survive so long. Services vary a lot in price too and you may be able to find a garage that can do the basics for you at a fairly low price. It is worth making some investigations. Without servicing you also risk breaking down and if you have no break down cover, then being towed to a garage could cost you a lot of money. So, unless you are experienced in fixing or servicing cars yourself, it could be worth having a garage service it every so often. You may not need to do it that often either, just enough to make sure that it will not breakdown.