Last Updated on: 29th November 2023, 01:09 pm
The cost-of-living crisis is no secret to the average household, as millions continue to be negatively impacted by recent hikes to essential costs. While supermarket and domestic energy costs have dominated headlines, drivers have also undeniably been hit in the wallet lately – and doubly so, as budgetary challenges elsewhere reduce the amount available to spend on the likes of fuel and insurance. But what can be done to reduce these costs, actively speaking?
The burning of fuel when driving is entirely unavoidable, but the efficiency with which it is burned can be impacted by how you drive. Driving smoothly can increase fuel efficiency quite radically, where coasting into corners and accelerating slowly out of traffic lights reduce unnecessarily burned fuel. Smooth driving also means less mistakes, and less fuel-costly responses to other drivers’ mistakes through late braking.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Fuel efficiency is dramatically impacted by the health of the vehicle, too. Regular at-home oil checks and changes can ensure your engine isn’t fighting against itself to run, and can also reduce the amount you spend on mechanic labour costs. Something as simple as tyre pressure can impact your fuel efficiency heavily, too; lower tyre pressure results in increased contact with the road, hence increased road resistance and reduced engine efficacy.
Minimising Insurance Costs
Insurance is one of the more pernicious ongoing costs related to car ownership – and a legal requirement, to boot. With rising costs across all aspects of car ownership, insurance has become pricier for many, and is a good place to consider options for cutting back.
Of course, the practice of minimising your insurance costs overall isn’t as simple as negotiating a cheaper policy. In the event that you do suffer an accident on the road, any reduced insurance policy could see you lose out in the long term; indeed, standard car insurance policies often barely cover the market value of your vehicle, let alone the money you placed into it. This is where getting a gap insurance quote could be a smart move. Spending extra to cover that difference could expose you to less financial risk and save you more than otherwise.
Finally, there are social ways in which you can bring about savings in relation to your driving. By carpooling with colleagues for your commute to work, you can subsidise costs across the board. You could take turns driving between a group of you, thus dividing your fuel usage by the number in your carpool.
Of course, this opens up the wider possibility of, quite simply, cutting down on how much you drive. The less you drive, the lower your fuel costs and the lower your risk of encountering an accident. It could be worth seeking out public transport alternatives near you, if only to partially reduce how much you rely on a personal vehicle.