How to Reduce the Cost of Running Your Car

Written by a Guest Blogger

Alongside your rent and monthly utility bills, running your cars is likely among one of your biggest recurring expenses. For most of us, though, living without a vehicle of our own now seems like an impossibility. Even in areas where public transport is in good shape, it can’t compete with the ability to hop into our own car at a moment’s notice and get from A to B. Fortunately, it’s possible to save money without having to give up your vehicle entirely. In fact, this can often be done by simply changing a few of our regular habits.

Adapting Your Driving Style

You may think that the only way to reduce the cost of running your vehicle is to alter the vehicle itself. However, your own driving style arguably plays just as big of a part. Aggressive driving styles, including hard braking and “jackrabbit” stops, will decrease fuel efficiency significantly. The proper way is to accelerate slowly and smoothly, then get into high gear as quickly as possible. Driving in a gear lower than necessary means you’ll waste fuel. Likewise, adding any accessories that impact aerodynamics and driving with your windows down increases fuel consumption. It is more efficient to run with your windows up and air conditioning on than to open your windows at highway speed – according to a study by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Keeping on Top of Regular Maintenance

There are hundred of parts at play in determining whether an engine is running at peak condition. Even if you consider yourself a bit of a gearhead, it’s worth consulting with a professional at least once a year to see how your car is performing. This is the best way to spot any potential problems early on, which will increase not only your own safety but that of others on the road too. Catching these kinds of issues before they result in a full breakdown will also save you a significant amount when it comes to repairing a vehicle. It will also keep the amount of time your car spends at the shop to a minimum.

Reducing Your Insurance Premiums

Insurance is one of the biggest costs for many drivers, especially younger drivers with little experience. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your premiums with a little effort on your part to show insurance companies that you’re a responsible driver. Drivers can undertake an additional test like the Pass Plus scheme in the UK which could reduce your premiums levels by as much as 10%. Similarly, you could install a telematic box to your vehicle. These contraptions monitor your speed as well as your other driving habits. If you’re deemed to be a safe driver, you can expect to pay much less.

Today, driving has become an essential part of our lives but, in many ways, it’s still a luxury. If you’re concerned about the increasing cost of ownership, why not try adopting just some of these changes and see how it could impact you in the long-run?

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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