With the state of the economic climate as it currently is in the UK, saving money and cutting back on expenses is essential for everybody to maximise their disposable income. Jobs are proving ever more difficult to obtain while minimum wage is not rising in line with inflation.
One of the most costly aspects of modern life is driving. The vast majority of us need to drive, but the question is how much do we really need to, and how can we cut the costs of driving?
Here are our top five ways to cut the costs of driving down to a minimum.
If the weather is permitting and you need to go to the shop around the corner, then why not walk instead of drive? Starting up the engine of your vehicle uses a lot of fuel, so it is very uneconomical to drive short distances. Plus the exercise is good for you!
Have you considered getting the train or bus to work? If you work in a city centre this may well be the cheaper option and it could be a whole lot quicker too. You’ll save a lot of money on fuel, particularly during rush hour, and might even make it home faster.
MOT & Servicing
Where do you take your vehicle for its annual MOT or service? If you are unsure about what a good price is for one then you should search online. Leading UK automotive site BuyYourCar.co.uk offers a free comparison service which allows you to find the best deal in your area.
Smaller, Slower, Cheaper
To state the obvious, driving a large, luxurious car will be a lot more expensive than a small family or city vehicle. This isn’t just in terms of the initial outlay however; smaller cars are less thirsty for fuel, which means they emit less CO2 and road tax is cheaper. If you don’t cover too many miles then a smaller car might be right for you. Trade that BMW in for a Hyundai i20.
Driving faster has a negative effect on fuel economy, which means you have to fill up more often. You also run the risk of being flashed by a speed camera or pulled over by police, which at the very least will result in a fine and points on your license.
What fuel do you use? Depending on how much you drive, and the type of driving you do (do you spend a lot of time in slow traffic for example) diesel may suit you better than petrol and vice versa, it is something worth considering and you can find out more at buyyourdiesel.co.uk, whilst it can be more expensive to buy by the litre, it can be more efficient, so a litre will last you longer, meaning in the long run it can be cheaper.
Things have been slow in the office today, meaning lots of idol chat, which predominantly featured talk of the perfect way to do one of the greatest and most celebrated road trips known to man… Route 66. For those of you who aren’t familiar with route 66 it is a stretch of road that runs from Illinois to California making this stretch of road 3,945 km long! You drive through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Obviously then you would want to do it in style if you had the chance.
This naturally got us on to the topic of which car you would take for such a momentous journey. Patrick, the token ‘chav’ in our office went for the predictable Lamborghini Murcielago almost immediately without giving it a second of though. At least he didn’t go for the utterly common Gallardo that features in every other rap video. Whilst I was disappointed at Paddys lack of imagination I can’t deny that I would absolutely love to smash route 66 in a Murcielago, but I think there are better ways to do it.
Karen went with the boring ‘but practical’ Land Rover Range Rover Sport which to be fair is possibly the only car she knows the name of, so I won’t be too harsh on her. But it was rapidly becoming clear to me that my colleagues lack the kind of imagination I was hoping to inspire when I presented the question. Jade said she would take her Ford KA because she loves it so much which was obviously just an attempt to wind me up whilst Craig made things a little bit more interesting by saying he’d take the McLaren MP4-12C. Don’t get me wrong this is a superb car which I personally am a big fan of, and again I assume doing route 66 in the McLaren MP4-12C would absolutely blow my mind, but it falls into a similar category as the Murcielago in my book, in that it doesn’t quite capture the spirit of Route 66.
My faith then rested in Keith to blow me away and really engage me in the conversation I desired, he seemed deep in thought so I thought he was going to come up with a good one, he stroked his chin, paused and out came ‘the Jaguar XJ Series’. Apparently Keith had confused Route 66 with the school run. Another nice car but Jesus Christ, I was half expecting someone to chime in with the Ford Fiesta because its running costs are low! Some of them just hadn’t seemed to grasp that we were talking hypothetically and that you could choose ANY car you want!
Personally I would have chosen an American Muscle car to really set the scene like the 1967 Camero SS or a 60s Mustang, I’d even consider hiring a full on truck! So can somebody please humour me and give me some good all American suggestions, if you’d choose a Land Rover Discovery or a Renault Clio please refrain from commenting.
A huge majority of the cars on British roads are foreign, it seems we are well and truly in a point of time where we aren’t really producing anything, but boy do we love to consume. What is that makes us opt for say, the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta over our home grown Vauxhall Corsa, of course Vauxhall is popular and doesn’t have too much to worry about, but for some reason foreign cars just seem to be more appealing to the British public, a public who are otherwise moaning about foreigners or going on about how proud they are to be British. When you think about it there are some very good British cars out there, so we thought we would pitch them against their foreign rivals and see who comes out on top. And of course we won’t be bias at all….
Ssangyong Rexton VS Land Rover Discovery
Okay, maybe we are being a little bias here as it isn’t really a fair competition, but we will use it to demonstrate how superior Britain is when it comes to the luxury 4×4 category. The Land Rover Discovery will concede immediately in terms of price as the Ssangyong Rexton is a lot cheaper with prices starting at £19,150 (the Discovery starts at £38,000) having said that there was the Rexton R which was actually similar in price to the Discovery if I remember rightly. But anyway, we have come up with a sensible and definitive test which will tell us which car is better: How many crumpets can you fit in each car. Drum roll please…….. You can fit 10500 crumpets in the Land Rover Discovery and only 6550 in the Rexton. Obviously then, the British Land Rover Discovery has go this battle won.
Britain 1 – 0 Rest of the World
Toyota Prius VS Vauxhall Ampera
Welcome to the clash of the Green Giants, to cars with good intentions, clean fuel and a soft spot for the environment. But which one is the greener of the two? First of all let us consider the fully charged electric range of each car. The Toyota Prius can do around 10 miles on a full charge, whilst the Ampera can manage a staggering 30 miles! It looking like another victory for blighty! I think most people would be in agreement that the Ampera is much better looking than the Prius and the interior quality is much better in the Ampera. But again we have a specialist test that should tell us which car is better. How many litres of green tea can you fit in each model….. You can fit 1,005 litres in the boot of the Vauxhall Ampera, and 1,120 litres in the boot of the Toyota Prius! Bollocks.
Britain 1 – 1 Rest of the World
Peugeot RCZ VS Lotus Evora
Now we go against the French, in a battle of speed and agility between the Peugeot RCZ and the Lotus Evora. Again the Evora is pretty expensive when compared to its rival from France, so we must bear that in mind, though the Evora has still got its work cut out as Peugeot RCZ has been dubbed as the best drivers’ car that Peugeot has produced in decades. The quickest RCZ can do 0-60 in 5.7 seconds and the Lotus Evora can do it in 4.3 seconds! Furthermore the Evora has a top speed of 178mph whilst the Peugeot RCZ can do 150mph. Obviously then the Evora seems to be the better car in terms of speed and agility, however when you consider the RCZ is a good £20,00 cheaper, the lines get a little blurred. So we designed a special test…. Which car looks better in a top hat? Without telling him the reason behind the test we got an outside invigilator who is an expert on fashion, to give the verdict. The Lotus Evora won it!
Britain 2 – 1 Rest of the World
Renault Megane VS Vauxhall Astra
Another battle between England and France, and this one sees to extremely popular car pitched against each other, the Vauxhall Astra and the Renault Megane. Both hover around the same sort of price range making this a very important clash, and possibly the fairest of the lot. We are all familiar with both these cars so we won’t go into too much detail, if you need a reminder just look out your window and you’ll probably see a second hand Renault Megane or Astra driving passed within 5 minutes. So to test which one is better we thought we would do a test that could maybe be deemed as slightly more sensible than the previous ones. We are going to add up the out of five scores that each have got on the 3 car review sites: CarBuyer, AutoExpress and AutoCar. Respectively the Astra scored 3.2, 3 and 3.5 giving it a grand total of 9.7/15. The Renault Megane scored 3 across the board giving it 9/15….. Goooooooooooal
Britain 3 – 1 Rest of the World
Volkswagen Polo VS Vauxhall Corsa
We are aware that we are relying on Vauxhall quite a lot for these match ups, but we’re only a small island, so that’s the best we can do. First of all it is worth mentioning that the Vauxhall Corsa is a couple of grand cheaper than the Volkswagen Polo generally speaking so how does it fare agains the Polo. To be honest, we can’t find much to complain about with either car, they are both fantastic to drive, they both offer great value for money and excellent fuel economy so what can separate the Corsa and the Volkswagen Polo? We are starting to wish we put the Corsa against something like the Ssangyong Kyron as I’m afraid this one will have to come down to looks, and a quick vote in the office revealed that 80% thought the Volkswagen Polo is better looking that the Corsa, sorry Vauxhall.
Britain 3 – 2 Rest of the World
Porsche Panamera VS Aston Martin Rapide
For our final battle we decided to draw for the big guns, two cars from two different manufacturers which both have their names in the hall of fame and are renowned for their prestige and luxury. Both the Panamera and the Rapid are classed a 5 door hatchbacks and I think one thing we can safely say from the off is that the Aston has the Porsche won in the looks department. We would say the Aston Martin is more fun to drive, but the Panamera would be faster on the motorway and a little more comfortable too, so that depends on what you fancy really and doesn’t do much to settle the dispute. Both will drop in price substantially after 3 years ownership so you might want to think twice if you are planning on buying only to sell down the line as a second hand Porsche Panamera or used Rapide. The Panamera is considerably cheaper than the Aston Martin Rapide and you can even get some of the lower specs for less than half the price of the Rapide so unfortunately we cannot justify the Rapide winning this one.
Britain 3 – 3 Rest of the World
So it has ended a draw, but it was still a high scorer so you can’t complain. I guess it shows that while there is plenty to be proud about in the British motor history, there is nothing wrong with enjoying what the rest of the world has on offer.
Morning Blogosphere! It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I’d do a nice easy entry on the topic of my favourite cars. Currently I am driving a second hand BMW 1 Series which is bloody brilliant, though there are a few other cars that always catch my eye, much to the annoyance of my loyal 1 Series.
Like many seedy affairs, the car I lust after most is related to the BMW 1 Series, she is the older, better looking sister of the 1 Series: the BMW 3 Series! Now, to be quite honest my love of the BMW 3 series is pretty superficial, as I haven’t actually driven one, but it looks splendid. Usually, despite the lack of practicality, I prefer the look of 3-door cars as they seem a little more sleek, but the 3-series manages to be practical and sleek, not to mention it is great t drive…. from what I’ve heard. BMW 3 Series Leasing is becoming a pretty attractive option, don’t tell the 1 Series though!
My second mistress comes in the form of the Mercedes-Benz S Class. The S-Class looks so classy, especially in black and whilst I haven’t drove the S-Class either, I have been a passenger in one numerous times. It is so refined and composed, time seems to slow down, and not in a bad way. This temptress is understated, a quality which only adds to her class.
The third car which could lead me astray is the Audi A8…. It appears I have a thing for Germans. Maybe it is a sign of my old age, but again the things that strike me about this car (similar to the S-Class) is that it is obviously expensive, but doesn’t get in your face and show off about it like a say a Lambo would. Don’t get me wrong I’d still have a night of passion with a Gallardo; the blonde bimbo of the motor world which comes with fake breasts and an obnoxious mouth, but turning heads would start to annoy me after a while.
For the majority of us buying a used car isn’t exactly something we look forward to. Of course getting a new car is exciting, but when that car is second hand it can be a doubt filled experience, where you are constantly worried that you have been sold a car under false pretences, a car that will ultimately turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. Nine times out of ten you will get what you pay for and everything will run hunky dory, but we all know a story about someone who has come out of the used car market feeling conned, and down hearted as my daughter Rachel has just found out with her Skoda Citigo.
Whilst learning how to drive Rachel spent a fair few ours in her mother Skoda Fabia, and from that she felt that she was comfortable with Skodas and seemed to like that they aren’t too common. Though she felt comfortable in the Fabia, it was an estate so she didn’t want the same car as her mother, did a little research and found the Citigo, deeming it the perfect car for her. I had no problem with her logic so gave her a budget and let her to her own devices. Sure enough the next day she had found the car of her dreams, she had already enquired and was raring to get to the dealership, so off we went. We looked at the car and everything seemed to be fine with the dealer reassuring us at every turn that there was nothing at all wrong with the car. I could tell Rachel wasn’t really listening too much that was going on, as she was too excited and desperately wanted the car and if I’m completely honest I spent a lot of time day dreaming about the Maserati Ghibli that was sat at the other side of the forcourt. But the dealer seemed like a genuine enough guy so I figured what the hell, it will be fine. How wrong I was.
After an hour or so we had done all we needed to do and before we knew it, she was driving us home in her very own Skoda Citigo and after 30 minutes on the road things started to go a little wrong, the little Citigo began making an awful sound before it completely cut out, we pulled over, (fortunately there was no one else on the road) and it was quite obvious that it had overheated.
The car was taken straight to the dealership but they refused to do an immediate repair so after a very heated argument I ended up walking away with my money, minus a deposit that they conveniently made up that I couldn’t be bothered to contest and a daughter with a broken heart. For now she will have to share her mother’s contract hire Skoda Fabia but we have both learnt a very important lesson, firstly, go in knowing exactly what you want, secondly pay attention and thirdly take the car out for a test drive before you commit to it! Have you had any used car nightmares? If so let us know!
Manchester United star Paul Scholes has had his Chevrolet Captiva LTZ stolen from outside his home after he left his engine running on his driveway.
Not the cleverest thing to do, Paul.
The 38 year old midfielder had gone back inside his home in Oldham, Greater Manchester, while letting the ice defrost from the windscreen of his vehicle.
However, while the former England international was inside, thieves operated within the small window of opportunity between 7:45 and 8:00am on Monday morning.
It’s likely that he’ll have to take it for a service and MOT when and if the car turns up, which could be pricey. His insurance company will no doubt be a little annoyed too.
This should be a lesson to anybody who thought it acceptable to leave a vehicle running unattended on a frosty morning, although to be fair it’s hard to imagine Scholes will be losing much sleep – he earns in excess of £3m a year and the car was given to him for free.
Chevrolet is the current sponsors of Manchester United, and last August the automotive giant offered each player a model of their choice for free. Sir Alex Ferguson banned some of the younger players from choosing the Chevrolet Corvette – for obvious reasons – and although Scholes was not one of said younger players, he still opted for the more economical Captiva.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: “Police are investigating after a car was stolen while the owner was defrosting the vehicle. The grey Chevrolet estate was stolen from the drive of a house in the Greenfield area of Oldham between 7.45am and 8am on Monday. Inquiries to locate the car are on-going.”