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Saving money tips: Your car(s)

I cried as my old Land Rover Freelander was taken round the back of the car dealership.

I bloody loved that car but it was costing me a fortune to run that I just couldn't justify.

Several years ago when the fuel prices were not much more than £1 a litre as opposed to double that today, it was costing me over £300 a month just to commute to work.

The servicing and road tax combined was another £500 a year and it was on HP finance at another £250 a month. At £6500 a year the love was starting to fade.

Then I met my new love.

And was better off by £2100 a year!

And she was lovely, shiny and new!

So is your car costing you too much?

Do you have as a couple a car each that could be adjusted down to 1 or downsized?

One thing however is the "New car hamster wheel" that's hard to get off.

Once you get to the balloon payment if you're on a leasing style payment contract, that last £5000 or so that you forgot all about with your last payment usually means you chop in that car and go for another new one.

So you never really own any of those cars. For me it was a cheaper option of being able to have a new car with lower monthly repayments but I wouldn't recommend that choice.

If getting a new or nearly new car is for you, then a bank loan or Car Finance HP is a better option as you will pay for the whole car with your monthly repayments over a few years and therefore own it once complete. That last monthly payment is wonderful!

The cost of fuel is horrendous so choosing an economical car clearly is a better choice.

My old diesel Freelander drunk fuel like nobody's business but my little Fiat and my now Mini are much better value for money. There are lots of lovely cars these days that are really economical, the VW Polo never goes out of style, the Peugeot 208 is a good option and the good old Ford Fiesta is a classic.

10 mini tips:

  1. Not breaking too often when driving is a great tip as this is one way to use more fuel than you need, as well as accelerating like a teenager with their first car then breaking. Keeping your style more consistent & considered makes for less fuel used.

  2. Make sure your tyres are properly inflated this makes a big difference. Google your car type to find out what they should be front and back.

  3. The drag Factor: roof boxes, heavy sports kits and other contents in your boot use more fuel to propel the car along so don't keep all that stuff when not needed.

  4. Air con uses loads of fuel, get that wind in your hair!! Not maybe on the M25 but then again, top speeds are about 25 miles an hour in rush hour!

  5. Heated seats

  6. The stereo! Anything that is using power of some kind is using the fuel.

  7. The more expensive fuel choice at the pumps makes a big difference on your car maintenance & therefore servicing, helps your engine to run more economically so saves you money especially when you do a lot of miles.

  8. If you're hoping to sell your car with decent value then having your car serviced with your book showing full service history will get you a better sale.

  9. Short shifting is better for the engine and better for fuel consumption, so change up your gears more quickly so that you're not revving it before changing.

  10. Road tax - electric cars are exempt and smaller engine cars on tax bands B & C have less emissions & cost £20-£30 a year in road tax. Many cars, are £165-£400 a year which is another massive expense even if you're doing it every 6 months.

So, how much is your car costing you per year and is it worth it?

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