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Cut Costs Driving

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.

Walk

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!

Train

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.

Don’t Speed

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.

Fuel

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.

Buying a Used Car

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!

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