Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Cutting car costs

Car savings

By Tiernan Cannon

Running a car is, frankly, very expensive. Between insurance, tax, fuel and general upkeep – not to mention repayments of the loan you may have taken out to actually pay for the thing in the first place – the costs of running a car can prove to be an extreme burden upon your finances. For some of us however, it is an absolutely necessary expense, so we must find ways to make do. Here’s a little guide to cutting out any unnecessary extra motor spending.

Travel light

If your car is full to the brim with unnecessary weight, then it is going to have to work extra hard to get from destination to destination – thus using up more fuel. Remove anything that is clogging up the boot for no reason, and little by little the savings will come. If you have a roof or bike rack that isn’t being used, take it off, as they add unnecessary weight and add to wind resistance. The lighter your car, the more fuel efficient it will be.

Drive steadily

You can cut your fuel costs simply by paying closer attention to your driving style. Driving at higher speeds and hard braking can significantly raise fuel costs, so instead of racing off from a neutral position and braking harshly, take off smoothly and journey at a steady pace. Given the rising cost of fuel, the savings can be considerable.

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Maintain your tyres

Not only is the maintenance of your car’s tyres important for safety, but it can also save you money in the long run. Low tyre pressure and the resulting increase in rolling resistance directly leads to an increase in fuel consumption. Maintaining a tyre’s air pressure – as well as ensuring that the tyre’s tread depth meets the 1.6mm legal minimum – is a necessary precaution, both in terms of safety and in terms of saving money.

Haggle!

Insurance is a real kicker for motorists, and can end up costing you a fortune. However, you can make some savings by refusing to blindly accept your insurance provider’s first quote. Shop around, and go back to your original provider with the quotes you’ve found elsewhere. If they sense that they are about to lose you, they might just lower their price to match or beat their competitors’ in the tug-of-war for your custom.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money’s editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.

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