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It’s good to have a smart attitude when it comes to spending money on your car. Not just when you buy one, but also when you are dealing with the day-to-day running costs. If you’d like to learn the secret to making your money go further, read on. Here are our top ten tips to reduce the cost of running your car.
1. Invest in good service and repairs
Regular servicing ensures that your car will operate with the best performance possible, which equates to better fuel efficiency and therefore less cost for you.
By getting your engine checked over frequently you can ensure that any small niggles get fixed before they create large, costly issues.
If you have a bump, make sure you get it checked over and fixed as soon as you can. Postponing repair costs could leave your car exposed to rust or longer term issues that could cost more to put right.
Regular oil changes will ensure that your engine experiences minimum wear and tear, allowing you to maximise its life. At home you should aim to top up your oil every couple of weeks. Try looking for a friction-reducing oil for maximum efficiency. You can also keep your car as happy as possible by keeping your coolant and, in winter, anti-freeze levels topped up too.
2. Look after your tyres
Ensuring that your tyres are inflated to the correct level can reduce your fuel consumption by one tenth or more. You can also keep an eye on your treads to ensure your manoeuvring on corners and general driving is as efficient as possible.
3. Minimise your weight
It’s obvious when you think about it: if you don’t need it then don’t drive it around. Weight in the car costs money to transport, so spend some time de-cluttering and you may have more money to play with as a result. If you attach bike holders or roof racks to give you a capacity-boost, then don’t forget to remove them once you’re done.
4. Drive smoothly
Smooth driving is crucial if you want to optimise your fuel consumption. You can ease your way through acceleration and braking by looking ahead and forward planning your next manoeuvre. Reacting quickly is inefficient so the more you can allow the car to slow naturally and accelerate gently, the further your fuel will take you.
5. Avoid short journeys
Short journeys are by their nature less fuel effective as they tend to involve more accelerating and braking per distance travelled. In addition to fuel costs they also have a long term engine cost as the acids that build up during your car warming up are detrimental to the life of the engine. If your journeys are short enough it might be worth making the best cost saving possible and walking instead.
6. Don’t sit and wait
Idling engines can be very costly, not just in traffic but also if you find yourself waiting for someone outside a shop or at school pick up time. As a rule, you can positively impact your fuel costs if you avoid idling for more than 30 seconds.
7. Control the air conditioning
As appealing as it can be to chill the air in your car, it will have a knock-on impact on your fuel consumption and increase your running costs. If you want to get more from your tank of petrol make sure you are circulating air internally only and consider raising the temperature by a couple of degrees, or even shutting it off completely.
It is worth noting that opening your windows can increase the drag of your car which can also lead to higher fuel consumption. Lowering a window is not going to provide a cost-free solution for cooling your space.
8. Research the best petrol prices
Psychologically it can appear that all fuel prices are actually the same, but if you’re filling your car it’s worth getting the best deal possible.
Keep a look out for petrol vouchers being offered by supermarkets as these can make a significant difference to the cost per tank. You can confirm the difference by checking out the current pricing online at sites like www.gaspy.nz
9. Get the best insurance deal for you
Insurance is about making sure you have the cover you need and that you’re not wasting money on extras that you don’t want. Contact us and we can help you find the car insurance that suits you and your needs, and make sure we’re offering you the best deal possible. Car insurance is an expense, but it is a vital part of owning a car. Getting it right should give you both piece of mind and value for money.
10. Make sure your car loan suits your needs
If your car loan is not directly matched to your needs, you might find yourself paying off less than you can afford or struggling with a repayment level that is stretching you too far. Because we talk to you about your needs before we structure your loan, we can make your finance as cost effective as possible for you.
If you’re getting ready to go car shopping and would like to talk about your car loan options, give the team at Enterprise a call. We’ve helped thousands of Kiwis get on the road by providing them with a car loan that works with their budget.
Please note, this article does not represent personal financial advice.