We’re a decade on from the great financial crash of 2007-2008 but for many of us there’s still a feeling of recession that shows no sign of abating. In the UK, particularly, the post-crisis recovery has been slow and laborious (before we even consider the leaked “no good scenario” impact assessment of Brexit).
The value of UK worker’s wages has seen the longest period of stagnation since records began and while economic recovery is coming slowly and surely, British households are all feeling the pinch. As such, everyone recognises the benefits of making little savings whenever and wherever they can in the hope that they’ll add up to big savings in the long term.
While most households require at least one vehicle to travel to work and get the kids safely to and from school, there’s no denying that motoring costs make up a hefty chunk of a family’s household budget. We’re going to assume that you’re already cutting your vehicle use down to essential travel only and walking/cycling whenever you can (great for your health and your budget). With the obvious out of the way here are some easy ways to cut the cost of motoring…
Change Your Driving Habits
You’d be astonished at how much you can save on fuel costs by adapting your driving style. Many newer cars have an economy driving mode that inhibits the engine’s fuel consumption as well as stop/start functionality which prevents excess fuel consumption when idling, but even if your vehicle has none of these you can take active steps to lower your fuel consumption;
- Accelerate gently, staying below 3,000 RPM
- Change gear when your engine tells you to (even if an alert doesn’t come up on your dash, you know when you hear it).
- Slow naturally using your vehicles stored momentum rather than braking heavily (this will add longevity to your discs and pads).
Appeal Parking Tickets
It’s a little known fact that traffic wardens (particularly those who work for the private sector) are targeted on how many tickets they issue per day and will therefore issue a ticket on dubious grounds. If you feel that your car was unfairly ticketed, it’s in your best interests to appeal the decision and save some money. Over 50% of appeals are won by the driver!
Be MOT Smart
The digital age makes us much more confident to book an MOT online. Greater transparency in the form of user reviews and greater accountability have caused garages to clean up their acts and become more trustworthy. Many main dealers now send their customers a video of the underside of their vehicle while an MOT is conducted. Still, you can save money on your MOT and associated costs by being MOT smart. Take your car in for a pre-MOT check or carry it out yourself (here’s how).
This will give you the opportunity to correct any issues that may result in a fail on your own terms without the garage in question putting pressure on you to carry out the repair there and then.
You can also potentially save money by using council-run MOT testers. As they don’t do repairs they have no vested interest in failing your car dishonestly.