DRIVERS have always got to worry about what’s going to keep their car ticking along the road, but sometimes that comes at a high cost.
You’ve got to consider fuelling up, making sure the car is roadworthy, and that it’s covered against accidents and more, all before even setting off the driveway.
Drivers spend as much as £3,406.80 on their car every single year according to Nerd Wallet.
But the experts at car dealer group Peter Vardy have come up with seven changes you can make to save as much as £1,347.24 a year on all the costs that come into play.
Some costs you can’t avoid, like the tax charge you have to pay once a year or every six months, but there are ways to make it that bit cheaper.
Some things, like the price of fuel, just take a bit of shopping around to lower.
It comes as many Brits have to grapple with hiked costs across the board with the cost of living on the rise.
So here are seven changes you can make to save on your car costs:
Add someone else to your insurance – save £426
If you’re new to driving premiums can be high.
If you’re a young driver especially, naming a parent on your policy can reduce your yearly insurance by hundreds.
Uswitch found that you can save an average of £426 by adding a parent on your policy, if you still live at home.
Pay tax annually – save £29
Paying your road tax annually instead of monthly saves you up to £29 a year according to the car experts at Peter Vardy.
It might be easier to spread the cost of road tax as you can opt to pay what’s due monthly, but in the long run this costs more.
If you can afford it upfront then the total is cheaper and one lump sum could save you up to as much as almost £30 on average.
Don’t go for premium fuel – save £179.14
Fuelling up your car is necessary but it can be more costly than it needs to be if you’re not looking for savings in the right places.
So if you’re presented with the choice, don’t go for premium fuel for a standard car.
It could save you as much as £179.14 per year.
Retailers often claim that premium fuel offers performance and economy advantages and can even protect your engine.
But really, unless you’re driving a performance vehicle, you’re unlikely to see many improvements.
On average it’s an extra 10p more per litre that you have to fork out for though.
Fill up at the supermarket – save £74.10
It’s not only what you’re putting into your fuel tank that you need to worry about, but where you do it too.
Filling up at a supermarket garage can be cheaper than visiting a branded garage.
Making the swap can save you £74.10 a year according to Peter Vardy.
But the supermarkets have been slammed in the past for hiking up prices when drivers are relying on fuel most.
If nothing else it should also help you keep fuel costs down if you tie in your fuel stop with a grocery shop, as you’ll be completing the two trips in one.
It pays to use a website like PetrolPrices.com to compare prices before you fill up.
Use cashback credit cards on fuel – save £65
Purchasing your petrol or diesel with a cashback credit card offers you up to 5% cashback for each fill-up.
The AMEX Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card has no annual fee and you can get 5% cashback for the first three months.
Of course you should shop around for other offers as there’s plenty out there.
With the Amex deal though, if you filled up your car every two weeks at £50 a pop, you’d get £65 back over the space of a full year.
Just remember, you need to pay off the amount on your credit card in full each month – or the interest could cancel out any cashback bonus.
You also need to work out if any fees from other providers cancel out the cashback bonus – otherwise you won’t be saving any money and could even go over budget.
Check over your own car – save £574
Performing your own regular car maintenance checks will mean you can avoid a mega splash out at the garage if something were to go seriously wrong.
You’ll be able to spot standard wear and tear and get it fixed before it becomes a problem.
That way you can avoid paying the average annual repair cost of £574 which could hit your funds all at once in an unexpected upfront cost.
Haggle insurance, breakdown cover and your new car
There’s really no harm in haggling just about anything, and you can try it on your insurance claim the experts at Peter Vardy.
Things like breakdown cover and especially the price you pay for a new car in the first place could all be negotiated with too.
One forum on Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert revealed a £100 saving from RAC by haggling renewal cover too.
According to Money Saving Expert, motorists that have haggled their cover with AA, Admiral and RAC all have had an 80% success rate at reducing their premium.