When it comes to saving money, tackling the big ticket items is one of the best things you can do. Sure, saving a few pennies here and there is great, and frugality should be encouraged. But nothing will have a greater impact on your finances than tackling the “big three”: housing, transportation, and food. Today, let’s talk about the different ways you can save money on transportation.
The first obvious one is to not have a car at all! Yes, some will find it ludicrous, but think about it. Every month, you are spending on insurance, petrol, your car is depreciating every time you use it, and losing value. Add to that repairs, maintenance, MOTs, and a car loan if you bought it on credit, and it is easily an expense of a few hundred pounds every month. “Yes, but I need it to go to work”. I hear you. How about looking for a job closer to home, that you can cycle or even walk to?
Maybe you’ll make a little less money, but your quality of life would vastly improve, and the car savings may even mean you might come ahead.
Another suggestion is to get rid of your second car if both you and your partner have one. A two car household is rarely a necessity, and rather a matter of convenience. What if you pool errands and optimise the use of just one car? Limit your driving to going to work, or to weekends?
You can generally rent a car for about £50 for a whole weekend if and when you need one, which is cheaper than a month of parking in many cities!
If you really need a vehicle, let’s see the different lines of budget and how to save on them. Petrol is usually the biggest recurring expense. You can save by using loyalty cards from supermarket and petrol stations, and collecting rewards and discount vouchers. There are online sites that will tell you which is the cheapest station next to you. Try to fill up on your way to work and not make a special detour just to fill your tank.
Insurance can easily be challenged online thanks to online comparison sites. In just a few clicks, they will let you know what is the best deal for your insurance needs and how you can switch provider.
Be religious with oil changes and follow the manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance recommendations to a T. Better safe than sorry. If you delay maintenance, you will have problems sooner or later, and fixing them will be expensive. Check your tires and change them regularly for safe driving and petrol efficiency. In short, plan ahead and make a calendar note to follow the schedule.
Same thing goes for your MOT. A Halfords Autocentre survey has revealed that 53% of motorists are unsure when their MOT is due. That can result in a fine if you miss the date. And now, there are no more excuses because Halfords Autocentre is offering a FREE MOT to all its customers. All you have to do is buy something there, that can be as small as a 40p bulb, and you get a free MOT from Halfords. Click here to learn more about the free MOT offer.
Last, let’s discuss repairs and breakdowns. A breakdown cover is not too expensive, and if your car is more than a few years old, this is something you should consider buying, as it is likely you might have a problem. Check with your bank first as some credit cards already include breakdown cover for free.
If time comes that you are in need of unexpected repairs, ask around for recommendations. Better find a good professional that will do a solid job, than a cheap fix that will take you back to the mechanic’s two weeks later.
Owning a car does not have to be that expensive. How do you save on motoring costs?