Be savvy and save money as a car owner with these tips
Owning a car can be quite an expense with the cost of a car, insurance, tax and maintenance to consider. If you don’t take an interest in protecting your asset then you could pay more than you need to for the care of your car, or you could lose out on the whole value of your car should it be stolen or classed as a write-off as a result of an accident if you don't have the most appropriate insurance.
To make sure you continue to save money after you've got the best price for buying a car and keep your car cost-effective in the long run, check out the below tips.
Be insurance savvy
Never settle for a renewal quote - Many insurers are cheeky and automatically put your car insurance renewal price up each year. Lots of customers just let their premiums automatically renew, but this isn’t best value. By shopping around each year and doing a few price comparisons you can usually find cheaper quotes, sometimes saving hundreds!
Pay annually if you can - If you pay monthly for your car insurance then you will have to pay more than if you pay upfront for the entire year. It can be quite expensive to pay a year upfront if you don’t have enough money saved, so consider putting some money into a savings account each month for the next year so when your renewal comes around you can pay upfront and make a small saving.
Consider GAP insurance - Unfortunately cars do not increase in value over time, but quite the opposite. The moment you drive your lovely new car off a forecourt its value begins to depreciate. Insurers are well aware of this and they often only cover your car for a much lower price than you have paid. So if you get into an accident and your car is written off then you will only get back the amount your insurer has valued the car at and not your full original investment.
Luckily there is something called GAP insurance (Guaranteed Asset Protection) from insurers such as ALA who bridge the gap between the price you paid for the car and the amount your insurer will pay out. If you are buying a brand new or very expensive car then this is definitely worth researching as you won’t be out of pocket should your car be stolen or a write-off.
Look out for deals
Multi-buys and add-ons - Some insurers offer deals if you have two cars insured with them, so consider this as an option if you have more than one car in your household. It could be cheaper than getting two separate insurance policies.
You can also find multi-buy offers in garages such as completing an MOT and service together for a much cheaper price than buying them separately. Syncing the dates of these not only makes it easier to remember one date per year, but will be more cost-effective in the long-run.
Similarly, garages also often offer add-ons at a special price when you book an MOT or service. If you need oils changed or your air-con topped up then it’s worth doing this at the same time as a big maintenance check if they offer it at a discounted rate.
Cashback - I almost always book my MOT at Formula One as they have amazing MOT cashback and discount code deals. At the time of typing you can get over 10% cashback and a voucher for 10% off an MOT. If your garage allows you to book online and is a well-known brand then you might be able to get cashback from Top Cashback or Quidco so it’s worth checking.
Maintain your car
Keep on top of servicing - MOTs are a must by the law and they ensure your car is roadworthy, but you should also have a service every year or approximately 10,000 miles. Properly maintaining your car with a regular service will ensure it runs smoothly preventing breakdowns, any issues are flagged before they become major and your car will be more fuel efficient. This will all save money in the long run.
Keep tyres at the right pressure - another way to make sure your car is fuel efficient is by keeping your tyres at the right pressure. This is one car check you can do yourself at home with a tyre inflator and pressure gauge. Under inflated tyres can cause blow outs and can also increase fuel consumption.
Running a car can be expensive, but there are a few ways you can save money. Also ensure you are maintaining your car properly so it’s cost-effective for you in the long run.