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When it comes to owning a car, it’s safe to say that it can be a tale of two halves. On the one hand, it is incredibly useful to own a car in order to get around – particularly if you live in a really remote area or somewhere with limited public transport. However, car ownership can also be incredibly expensive.

When you are a vehicle owner, it pays to make sure that you are spending smart. You don’t have to pay over the odds to own a car, and you can use these four tips to make sure that you don’t.

Woman driving a car with sunglasses on - is she looking to save money on car expenses?

Stay On Top Of Your Car Maintenance

I’ve had my car service done this week. At the same time as the MOT. Cue big expense in one go!

Cars require these vital checks to keep them running. When you’re busy  with life, it’s easy to forget about giving your car some love and attention (unless you are a motor head I guess!). You may wait until your MOT is due to then get a service, and then wait another twelve months before you worry about it again. However, when you’re negligent with your car maintenance, it may end up costing you more in the long run.

Stay on top of the maintenance – top up the oil and water, check your tires etc – and you could prevent potential issues from arising that will then cost you more to get repaired.

Negotiate With Your Insurer

Car insurance can be expensive. Every year when its coming up for renewal, I use Money Supermarket to check whether we are on the cheapest deal. Don’t be fooled in to just switching to the cheapest deal. Although this can mean that you save money, you may find that you could save more by going directly to your insurer. Instead of cancelling, tell them what you’ve found elsewhere and, in my experience, they are often willing to reduce the renewal quote to match their competitor and keep your custom.

If you do move insurer, remember to go through a cashback site as they generally offer really generous cash back.

4 tips to help you save money on car expenses

Shop Around

If you’re thinking about upgrading your car or getting a new one, definitely make sure that you shop around. Go and test drive the cars in the showrooms to get a feel for what you want, then find it cheaper elsewhere! Whether you’re buying or leasing, be sure to do comparisons online first to find the best deals. You can click here to find out more about leasing as an option, or this site is another option. Either way, as long as you are prepared to invest some time in looking at alternatives, you will always be sure to get the best price.

Look Out For Deals On Fuel

Petrol or diesel is the biggest ongoing expense of car ownership. So it’s important to make sure that you can get the best price on that too. There are lots of different ways to find the cheapest prices, including looking online. But also make sure that you find good deals, such as pence or litre savings, bonus points, or money off coupons that can help you to reduce the cost of your fuel every time you fill up.

Finally as an extra bonus to stop you spending extra money on your car….

Make Sure Everything is According to Regulations

Are you up to date with all the rules and standards required by the DVLA? While some rules are pretty straightforward and we tend to follow them naturally, some are extremely detailed and difficult to keep track on.

A good example is the rules surrounding the number plates. If your number plates are not according to regulations, you could get a significant fine. Now, if your plates were issued directly by the DVLA, you shouldn’t worry, but if you got a personalised plate from one of the many dealers available online, we recommend caution.

According to this interesting article on Absolute Reg, it’s easy to check if your plates are genuine and up to standards. You should pay attention to the way the characters are written on the plates (font, spacing, colour) and other elements such as flags or decorations. Any element that’s not in the rules issued by the DVLA makes you liable, so make sure to check the relevant regulation before adding a modification or private number plate to your vehicle.

Take a look at this post to learn about why you don’t need to pay for motor legal insurance, and how you could save yourself £30 per year, per vehicle. For life. 

This is a collaborative post.