When it comes to London, owning a car is not one of the more frugal ways to live. With insurance, tax, fuel and upfront vehicle cost as well as congestion charges, it can be far tougher to own a car in London than elsewhere in the country. Combined with the good public transport system, having a car can be a trivial expense.
However, for those that need one for personal reasons or to travel out of London, there are ways to reduce the overall costs associated with it. Join refused car finance as they walk us through top tips for saving money driving in the big smoke.
When it comes to insurance, your premium is decided by adding a number of factors together. Your no-claims discount will be added up, your age will be factored in, and the vehicle you drive will directly affect the ultimate price. Finally, your location will matter. It’s tough to predict which will adjust your premium, but these are the general rules to stick to for saving money:
- Opt for a car with a small engine in a low insurance group.
- If you’re in the city, your mileage should be low. Make sure you let insurers know as this affects the price.
- Park in a garage or dedicated off street parking when possible.
- If you’re a young driver you should look for a specialist young driver’s broker or consider having a tracking device style plan.
Never pay for premium fuel at a petrol station, as standard cars receive a negligible performance benefit when compared to the costs. To save fuel when driving you should accelerate gradually without over revving, drive in the highest gear possible and slow down naturally rather than heavily pressing on the brakes.
Some supermarkets, such as Morrisons, offer discount cards on shopping that you can redeem on petrol. By combining your shopping with your trips to refuel, you can save lots of cash.
Lots of the basic elements of car maintenance can be done alone without having to head to a garage. Replacing lights, topping up your engine oil and knowing how to change your tyre for a spare are all simple tips you can learn to keep costs down.
Tax discs are a thing of the past. Now, tax is done entirely online through the official gov.uk website. Ensure your tax is up to date and if you’re buying a vehicle it’ll need taxed as if it was brand new. It no longer transfers, so don’t trust anyone selling you a used car that is ‘taxed’.
Cars with lower emissions cost less in tax and some are even tax exempt.
Car sharing/car clubs
Using a car share service or joining a car club can be a good idea for those that need cars for short trips around the city or just outside of it. For longer journeys (useful for northern students who want to go home on a weekend) you can always look on a proper car sharing website.
Financing a car is generally a more affordable option for those who want to own a car, if slightly more expensive in the long run. However, paying a monthly fee as opposed to a lump sum is far more viable for anyone struggling with money.