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10 money saving tips for motorists


We recently covered 10 of the most affordable cars for young drivers but there’s more to making your money go further than just the model you choose.

New data shows that the average adult spends £1,723.80 on car-related costs each year, from insurance and tax to fuel and maintenance. Young drivers are paying out even more, with the average insurance policy for 17-24-years-olds sitting at £1,177 alone.

With that in mind, it’s important to save money wherever you can so we spoke to Gavin Sewell, CEO of insurance buying platform honcho to come up with some tips to help young drivers - and the not so young - get more miles from their money.

1. Don’t just go for the cheapest car
Cheap isn’t always king and it’s usually inexpensive for a reason. It may be that the cheapest car you find has done many thousands of miles, or is in poor condition, meaning you could end up paying huge amounts in maintenance costs or will need to invest in a new vehicle again before long. To save yourself money and time, weigh up the pros and cons, and consider purchasing a slightly more expensive vehicle that will serve you better, for longer.

2. Scope out cheap parking
Parking is an added expense that is often forgotten about but can quickly add up, especially when parking up in densely populated areas, such as cities. Take time to familiarise yourself with your best local parking spots and if you’re new to a city there are apps that can help you identify the cheapest rates around.

3. Get better fuel economy
Driving more slowly and changing between gears a little earlier are two very easy and effective ways of improving your fuel economy. However, one key thing to consider before even buying your car is which fuel type suits your driving needs most, as this can play a big part in how much you spend on fuel. Despite the demonization of diesel in recent times, it is still the best option for long-distance driving, whilst a petrol engine is better suited to city driving.

4. Shop around for your car insurance
Don’t automatically assume that you’ll get the best insurance price by using a price comparison site. Not all insurers use these sites and sometimes more competitive premiums can be found elsewhere. As well as comparison sites go direct to insurers and consider alternative apps and platforms, including those who specialise in insurance for specific groups of drivers, to find the best deal.

There are lots of different car insurance providers and platforms out there so shop around (Photo: Shutterstock)

5. Consider black box technology
Telematics, or black box, systems are gadgets that measure a person’s driving - things like speed, cornering, acceleration, even what time of day you’re driving. Fitting a black box in your car delivers this information to your insurance provider so they can tailor your premium to your behaviour - drive sensibly and you’ll be rewarded with a lower premium.

6. Never skip a service
Although it may be tempting to skip services to save yourself the money, it’s crucial that you stay on top of these as your mechanic may spot a minor fault which, if left unresolved, could develop into a bigger problem and set you back a much larger sum.

7. Search for the cheapest fuel
The difference in fuel prices along a single stretch of road can be staggering, so it’s important to seek out the best prices available. Websites such as PetrolPrices.com can show you the best local prices and as a general point always avoid filling up at motorway services where possible, as these tend to be some of the highest rates.

8. Claim back on pothole damage
According to the AA, pothole damage sets drivers and their insurers back around £12 million each year in repair costs and these are far more prevalent in the winter months. However, the good news is that you can be eligible to claim for pothole damage by appealing to the council. This can save you a tidy sum on your insurance excess and will allow you to hang on to your no claims bonus. Read our guide on how to claim.

9. Skill up
It’s debatable whether taking an advanced training course such as Pass Plus will affect your insurance premiums. Recent research suggests in most cases it won’t, but some insurers do still look favourably on extra training. However, even if it doesn’t cut your premium, such courses can help you become a better driver and reduce the number of mistakes you make, reducing the chance of a costly accident or driving conviction.

10. Choose your tyres carefully
It may be tempting to fit your car with the cheapest tyres available but there’s more to tyres than just the price. A slightly more expensive tyre with better design and materials could offer better fuel economy and last longer, saving money in the long run. Be sure to check your tyre pressures regularly and keep them well inflated to improve your fuel economy and reduce your expenses.