How to Save Money on Motoring
Just as there are a thousand ways in which a car can be tough financially, there are many tips and tricks you can fit into your routine to cut your costs down in a major way. Your wheels should help you live a more mobile and freer life, not chain you down!
There are two key sides to your car payments that we’ll cover: Insurance and maintenance. Both are filled with great, straightforward areas you can save some serious cash in.
Who is the driver and what do they do?
Most people act very surprised when they hear this one; surprise is often followed by regret at the amount of money they could’ve been saving over the years.
It comes down to job titles and the perceived risk attached to each. Not all workers are created equal in the eyes of insurance companies and in fairness it’s easy to see why. Would you insure a racing car driver at the same rate as a primary school teacher? Ultimately, the subject of insurance all comes down to huge swathes of data and a lot of careful analysis as to which professions and demographics are more likely to have costly accidents on the road.
So what does it mean for you and me? It means we can be mindful of who pays more. A person down on their plan as an office manager is likely to pay more than an administrative assistant and the same goes for construction workers and builders respectively.
A key point to avoid is for retired drivers. If you select unemployment over retired status your claim will spike in value significantly. Who’d have thought!
Flex your negotiation muscle
It’s a surprising fact of life that negotiation and price haggling is available in just about any context and insurance is no exception. Particularly for those services who spend time with you discussing your options and fees, the loss of business and time with no return for their efforts frequently leads to the offer of reduced prices and enticing offers.
It’s not the easiest task at times and it certainly takes a little bravery. What you can be sure of is that if you stick it out and see what can be done for your situation you’ll be surprised at how far some companies are willing to go to retain your loyalty and custom.
It’s important to do your homework when you choose to haggle. If you’re sitting down with an insurance agent or calling on the phone be sure to have a few examples of other, cheaper insurance quotes with which to compare. This is a big part of the process as it gives your request much more power – if they know you’ve already had quotes from other companies they’ll work harder to win your business.
How much is covered in your cover?
Not all insurance is created equal. You’ll benefit if you take a close look at how many different items are covered by your insurance provider. Common pitfalls include windscreen damage, theft and overseas use. Courtesy cars are also notorious for driving up the premium of insurance.
Don’t skimp on service
We’re all guilty of looking to the short term to save money at the expense of long term costs and services are a textbook example. The cost of a service at around £100 compared to the enormous cost of an engine change or radiator refit will make you think twice!
See the signs
The above tip leads us to general motoring awareness. It’s good to have services regularly so that you can get a proper assessment by a professional, but the flipside of this is that you can avoid big expenses yourself by being aware of common car faults and how they sound and feel when driving or by looking at the car itself.
If you suddenly feel like your car is pulling to the left or right, or that the steering is heavy or the braking spongy, there’s a high chance you have a problem that needs to get looked at right away. The good news here is that by spotting the sign early you can severely cut the costs of repair by fixing the issue before it damages the car even further.
Don’t get tired of your tyres
Puns aside, it’s a healthy practice to take a look at your tyres once a month. Keep an eye on the pressure of each tyre and the depth on the tread. You need to make sure this is above 1.6mm and you can usually pump your tyres and take a look at the tread at the same time whenever you visit a petrol station. Simple.
It isn’t easy keeping on top of car maintenance and we know the best of us get surprised from time to time. If you need to fix an urgent problem or invest in new parts, come to us and we’ll be happy to help provide the funds you need to keep you on the road.