There can be little doubt that running a car is becoming more and more expensive, with insurance and petrol prices dominating your funds.
However, there are some simple steps you can take to make motoring that little bit more affordable and to keep your car running smoothly. Here are some cost-effective ways to keep your car running costs down to a minimum.
Find a reliable local garage
In general, a local independent garage will be cheaper than a mass dealership with franchises across the UK so it makes sense to go local if it’s possible.
The key is finding a local garage that you can trust so getting recommendations from friends is a certain must.
Always get a second opinion. So, if you try a garage for the first time and are presented with a long list of work that needs doing then there is no reason that you can’t take it to be checked at another centre for a second opinion.
This benefits you in two ways, firstly you will know if the first garage is trustworthy but it also gives you the opportunity to compare the price quoted for the work to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Check your drivers manual
Your driver’s manual is your best friend when it comes to keeping your car running smoothly and cheaply. Most drivers forget it even exists.
But, not only does it tell you what your tyre pressures should be and how to tune your car radio but will also give you an idea when major parts will need replacing.
Keep your service history intact
Although having your car serviced will involve an upfront cost each year, getting your car thoroughly checked on a regular basis will not only preserve its resale value but will also ensure that any potential problems are caught early on and when they will be cheaper to fix.
It never hurts to try out some DIY on your car – after all it’s free.
Check the tyre pressure
Keeping your car tyres at the right pressure not only saves fuel but can also extend the life of your tyres.
Driving with under inflated tyres will cost you considerably more to get from A to B, simply due to the extra effort & fuel required by your car’s engine to turn the wheels.
Over inflated tyres can be equally expensive but in a different way, as it causes extra wear to the tyre’s tread and reduces their lifespan.
Check your tyres on a regular basis – at least twice a year, ideally once a month and before any long distance journeys – to make sure that they are within the recommended pressure levels.
Keep calm and haggle
It’s fair to say that many of us resist the urge to question where all our money is going when it comes to the price of car maintenance and repair.
However, there is nothing to stop you from negotiating a reduction in the price you were initially quoted.
Ask for a detailed breakdown of all the required work and how they have come up with the final cost, so you know exactly what’s contributing to the cost.
Remember to get that second, or even third opinion to make sure you have the ammo required to back up your argument.