Cars are expensive, even if you buy the cheapest one you can find. They always have a way of constantly costing you money; but they needn’t have to. We’ve put our heads together and came up with a couple of small changes you can make to your car and the way you drive that can save you lots of money in the long run.
It’s very important to take your car for regular services to ensure that it’s always in tip-top condition. That being said, there are a few repairs you can do yourself that will cut your service costs. DIY car repairs stretch from small things such as changing your oil or filters to bigger challenges such as changing your brake pads or rotors. Just remember to do proper research before you attempt a DIY session and that you shouldn’t attempt to do everything yourself – certain things are best left to the professionals. Read your owner’s manual; you’ll brush up on your car knowledge and know what you can attempt to DIY and what not.
Stick to the speed limit! Even better – drive a little slower. Firstly, it’s against the law and dangerous to speed and getting speeding fines is not beneficial to anyone’s budget. Secondly, by driving slower you’ll burn less petrol, which means you’ll save on petrol money. Plan your routes and don’t drive unnecessarily. If you have to go to three shops, plan your stops wisely so that you don’t have to drive more than what you should.
Avoid rush hour when possible – it’s not only bad for your state of mind but the constant stopping and going burns a lot of petrol. If you can’t avoid driving in peak traffic try “reading” the traffic, so that instead of the general stop-go dance you’ll rather continuously move slowly.
Pay attention to which gear you’re in. If you’re stepping on the pedal it’s best to opt for a higher gear. The most fuel-friendly way to travel is at a constant speed in your highest gear. Also, pay attention to all the baggage you drive around with you. Remember the heavier your car, the more fuel it burns when you’re driving.
Check your tyres regularly. Get into the habit of checking your tyres (as well as the oil and water) every time you stop for petrol; simply ask the petrol attendant to have a look. If you’re unsure at what level your tyres need to be inflated, simply look at the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. Make sure that they’re on the correct level. If your tyres are underinflated you’ll burn more fuel whilst driving and if they are overinflated then you’ll have less traction on the road, meaning less control of your car. Also remember to rotate your tyres (swopping the front tyres with the back ones), as the front tyres ware out a lot quicker than the back tyres in a front wheel drive car and vice versa. By rotating them you won’t have to replace them as often.
Small everyday scratches and dents have a way to really work on your nerves. Some small scratches you can buff out with car wax and a lot of elbow grease. For small dents, Lifehacker.com writer, Adam Dachis recommends using a plunger to “undent” your car. If you’re a little sceptical about attempting these DIY’s rather get Budget Scratch & Dent cover. This product is specifically designed for all those pesky everyday scratches, dents and chips.
We’ve all been on the road where suddenly a small rock shoots up and chips your windscreen. It is very important to nip this chip in the bud before it grows into a huge crack and you have to replace the whole windscreen. It’s best to go to an auto window repairer as soon as you can, so they can fix the chip for a small fee, but call your insurance first as certain car insurance policies will cover these repairs free of charge. If, however, you aren’t anywhere near an auto glass repairer you can always DIY. Use clear nail polish. Simply, paint over the chip on both sides, this should temporarily stop it from cracking further, but this is not a permanent solution and it is not recommended to drive for extended periods with a chipped windscreen.
Firstly, make sure that you have an optimum insurance package – one that doesn’t only suit your needs but also your pocket. Complete a Budget Car Insurance quote today and see how much you can save on your insurance premiums. Secondly, be completely honest when answering the questions. For instance, lying about the amount of people driving your car might lower your premium, but if your 18-year old makes an accident and he’s not covered, you won’t be paid out. Lastly, make sure that your policy is always updated. The more information we have, the better we can cover you.
The more of these changes you make, the more you’ll be able to save. Change your car behaviour and start saving today!