The annual cost of driving can easily stretch into the thousands, once you’ve factored in the cost of fuel, maintenance, breakdown cover, parking, and insurance. The obvious method to save money on driving is to ditch the car and bike to work or use public transportation instead. Yet with a few tried and true money-saving tricks, it’s possible to spend just as much time on the road as ever yet pay less behind the wheel.
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Use Cashback Cards
Although they only pay back a small percentage, rewards from cashback cards can really add up over the course of the year. They won’t help you save money on fuel at the time, but they will help you get some of your money back later on to help offset the cost of driving.
Play around with your Job Title
Did you know that your occupation is one of the main factors that insurance companies use to determine your rates? Those that work evening hours or in high-risk occupations can expect to pay more than someone who works a 9-5 job in an office. Yet the wording you use to describe your occupation may lower your rates. A “builder” may pay more than a “contractor” or a “journalist” more than a “writer.” Although it’s not a good idea to lie on your insurance application, try playing around with job titles to see if there’s a simple way to save.
Don’t Automatically Renew Insurance
Is your insurance contract about to expire? Think twice before you commit to renewing. Automatically renewing your insurance means that you may be missing out on far better deals used to lure new customers to the company. Call around for a few quotes to see what you could be missing, and use these to haggle with your current company.
Drive More Efficiently
You don’t have to be a speed demon to be an inefficient driver. Revving up your engine, making sudden starts and stops, or driving in the incorrect gears are all good ways to burn unnecessary fuel. Try accelerating gradually and coming to a slow, natural stop so that your engine doesn’t have to work as hard.
Use Comparison Sites
Whether you’re shopping around for a new car, insurance, spare parts, or a loan, you’ll want to make use of the wealth of information available online. Compare all of your options by using comparison websites that easily give you the lowest prices. When buying insurance, try sites like Go Compare, or sites like Carsales when buying a new car. These will give you an idea of what the going rate is for a particular make, model, or policy so that you can negotiate a better deal.
Buy Monthly Parking Passes
At first glance it may seem like a long-term parking pass is too high of an expense, but paying by the month (or year) can save you a great deal of money in the end. Day rates in commercial lots can be quite steep, so always shop around to see where the best deals are located. Carpooling will also reduce your parking costs, because you can share the bill with friends or colleagues.
These are just a few basic ideas that will allow you to cut the cost of motoring without sacrificing your car. By researching your options and shopping around for better deals, you can put yourself in the best position to negotiate.