When all said and done, owning and running a car is a very costly experience, what with fuel, road tax, insurance and servicing, which all add up to a significant amount. Yes, it is nice to be able to jump in the car and go wherever you like, but it comes at quite a cost and if you would like to reduce your motoring expenses, here are a few tips.
- Used Car Parts – We all know how expensive a new radiator or alternator can be, yet there are car breaker yards where all usable components are removed, reconditioned and resold to the general public. If a car was rear-ended, for example, the front end of the car is still in good condition, which means the engine, gearbox and all peripherals can be reused and when a car comes in, the technicians strip the vehicle and the usable components are catalogued and stored. When you ask for a BMW Series 3 alternator, the staff member searches on the computer to see if they have the item in stock and all this can be done via their website and some breaker yards will accept online payments and will despatch the parts to your home address. The used tyre market is large and you are advised to check on the tyre shop’s website to see if they have suitable tyres in stock and if they don’t, they can probably locate a set of used tyres for your car.
- Partly Worn Tyres – Changing 4 tyres costs a pretty penny and next time you need to change your tyres, there are cheap tyres on the Gold Coast, which have been inspected and approved for reuse. This is not only a cheaper option, it is eco-friendly, as you are making the best use of resources and the top brands are all available. The thing about used tyres is that the majority have a lot of use left in them, they were changed because the vehicle owner wishes to upgrade to wider wheels, which means the tyres are no longer useful and are sold to the tyre shop.
- Self-Servicing – If you have the tools and know-how to service your car, you can save a fortune on labour costs. A lot of car owners prefer to service their vehicle, which does bring a level of satisfaction, plus you can be sure the job is done correctly. A typical car service involves an engine oil and filter change, checking of all tension belts and spark plugs, plus an air filter clean or replacement. Click here for information on hydroplaning and how dangerous it is.
- Online Car Insurance Comparison – It is very easy to search online for a cheaper car insurance quote; most people find a cheaper premium than the policy they currently have. It might only be a few dollars that you save, but every little helps and with a few years of no-claims bonus under your belt, cheaper insurance will be achievable. The vehicle insurance sector is huge and you should be able to find a cheaper insurer with a Google search.
- Driving Habits – Most people drive their car using the gears to slow down and high revs mean more fuel consumption; if you use your brakes more to slow down and don’t red line when accelerating, your fuel costs will drop significantly. Economic driving will also prolong the life of your car engine, which is yet another saving.
- Buy a Mountain Bike – We use our cars to go short distances; to the local shops, a daily visit to the gym, these trips can be taken on the bike, which saves on fuel and also keeps you in good shape. If you live in a rural setting, there’s nothing better than a ride in the country after a hard day’s work, indeed, many Australian families all ride together in the evenings and weekends. While you do have the initial investment in a bike, after that, you will save by leaving the car at home for short journeys.
Running costs would depend on the make and model of your car and if you drive a gas guzzler, perhaps it is time to downgrade to something more economical. Performance cars are a pure joy, but if you are looking to cut your motoring costs, this is going to be difficult.
All of the above tips can help you to keep your vehicle running costs down and if you are considering changing your car in the near future, think electric, which offers many more benefits than an internal combustion engine. Hybrid vehicles do offer savings, but when the electric vehicle is in production, the majority of car owners will make the switch.