Cars are not cheap to run, yet they remain an essential travel companion to people all over the world.
Finding ways to reduce road costs is a vital process which can benefit you in the long run. Read on to discover some simple ways you can reduce vehicle expenses and save money on the road.
Mediate fuel costs with fuel cards
Fluctuating fuel prices are one of the biggest financial concerns for any driver. Over the last few years, we have experienced a great deal of economic uncertainty. And with the impact of coronavirus, this is only set to continue.
The price of fuel dips and dives in tandem with the world's economy. It’s a relief when prices are low, but when they inevitably rise again, any savings we make automatically vanish.
The fantastical gift of foresight is the only way we can predict the future. But we can plan and protect ourselves from rising costs using tools like a fuel card.
What is a fuel card? They are credit cards used to purchase fuel. But in practice, they turn out to be a flexible money-saving strategy. You can often agree on a long term fixed fee with your provider. This means prices won’t rise or fall, but you will receive a slight discount.
Every fuel card serves a different purpose so it's worth checking comparison sites like iCompario to find the right deal for you. To reduce driving costs you will have to tailor the card to your specific needs.
Prepare and drive more economically
While fuel cards can steady your ship, practising fuel management will have you sailing with the wind. Driving more economically will mean you are using less fuel. And by extension cutting the number of visits to the fuel station.
Who’d have thought a little less pressure on the gas pedal could save you money? But it’s true. Changing the way your drive can have a massive impact on your road costs, simply because you will be visiting the gas station less and travelling further on your existing tank.
There are plenty of ways you can drive more economically. Plus the personal incentives are greater than ever: cut road costs, use less fuel, and reduce your carbon footprint for a greener future. All of this can be achieved by preparing adequately for a drive and being more conscious behind the wheel.
For example, planning journeys ahead of time ensures you travel on the best possible route. Using navigation apps like Waze provides accurate road reports on diversions and traffic jams. Avoiding these proverbial — and literal — roadblocks will result in a smoother journey, both for you and your bank account.
Driving economically takes self-discipline. But, saving money on the road is all about the drive, so don’t slack off behind the wheel. Accelerating and deceleration at the right times, changing up gears earlier, and stocking to the speed limit all contribute to a more inexpensive road trip.
Trusted breakdown services like AA also provide a guide on how to monitor the money you are saving. Often tracking progress can help maintain motivation and prevent you from slipping back into bad habits.
Invest in an environmentally friendly motor
Big changes in fuel consumption often come down the car you drive. If you’re cruising along in a gas guzzler then it's bound to run out of fuel more quickly than something more economical.
So, initial advice would be to invest in a brand new model. Buying the right car could save you money in the long run and offset any upfront costs.
Due to an influx in consumer demand and our development of durable Lithium-Ion batteries — electric cars are becoming a realistic option for your average driver.
They have significantly lower running costs because EV’s can be charged directly from a mains socket; bypassing the need for expensive fossil fuels almost entirely. Also, with the cost of driving going up across the board, EV’s avoid many of the new charges.
City centres around the globe are punishing diesel and petrol vehicles with congestion charges and green zones. The electric vehicle is not only exempt to these charges, but they are encouraged by governing bodies.
From government grants to free parking schemes, electric vehicles are fast becoming the most socially acceptable form of transport. And thereby, the cheapest too.
Don’t forget about vehicle maintenance
Maintenance charges can rack up quickly, especially if you are not looking after your vehicle properly. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a petrol or electric car when it spends half its time in the garage.
Knowing how to service your vehicle can be a valuable way to save money. It’ll help prevent developing issues and rule out possibly catastrophic failings on future drives. But it will also help you be more frugal by helping the car perform better daily.
Checking tyre pressure is a great first step. Your car will come with a recommended pressure for each tire — this can often be found in the vehicle manual or inside the fuel cap — make it your responsibility to maintain these pressures as best you can.
Allowing them to deflate decreases the lifespan of your tires, as well as creating more drag on the road so your engine has to work harder. All of which can result in a hefty build that could have been avoided.
Recommended reading: How to Tell When Your Old Car is Unsafe to Drive
Whether it’s fluctuating fuel prices, extra charges, big investments in modern tech, or constant vehicle maintenance — purchasing and running a vehicle is becoming more and more expensive by the day.
But with all these extra costs, new and inventive methods of reducing them will arise. If you plan, prepare, and consider the steps above then your road costs will fell much more manageable