Bringing Driving Costs Down

Running a car is expensive.  Even a fairly cheap car can cost thousands to keep on the road once you start thinking about insurance, tax, petrol and maintenance.  Even if you can keep a fuel-efficient modern vehicle on the road, the cost of BMW servicing could tip you over the edge.  There are ways, however, that you can keep costs down.  Here’s a few ideas to help you keep your pride and joy on the road without pushing your bank balance into the red:

1. Drive Less

This may sound crazy, but there is some sense to it.  Try to use your car only for essential journeys.  If you drive to work, see if you can carpool with a colleague a few days a week.  Lower mileage = less fuel use, less wear and tear, and possibly cheaper insurance too.

2. Compare Petrol Prices

The difference in price between two nearby petrol stations can be as much as 10%.  It may not be worth driving several miles to get to a place where it’s cheaper to top up, but it is worth trying to get to know which stations tend to have the best prices.

3. Keep Your Car Boot Clean

The more junk you carry around with you, the more fuel you will be using.  Take sports gear and heavy items out of your boot when you don’t need to transport them.  Over the course of several months this can save you a lot of money.

4. Be Diligent about Oil Changes

If you don’t want any nasty surprises at your next BMW servicing, you should take care of your car.  Experts recommend changing the oil in a petrol car every 7,500 miles (or once a year), and changing the oil in a diesel car every 3,000 miles (or every six months).

5. Improve your Driving

Try to avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration.  Slow down slowly and gently, and resist the urge to drive too fast.  Driving at 70mph uses 15% more fuel than driving at 50mph, so keep your speed in check.  If you have a black box that monitors your driving, then these good driving habits could save you money on your insurance too.

6. Test your Tyres

Badly worn tyres can make your car much harder to control, and could lead to a serious accident.  Underinflated tyres have a much shorter usable life, and can increase fuel consumption too.  Look after your tyres and they’ll look after you.

7. Don’t Just Auto-Renew Your Insurance

Even if you’re happy with your insurance provider, shop around before you renew.  Some car insurance providers will try to get you to auto-renew at one rate, but offer a different rate for new customers.  If you call them up, you can often get the cheaper new customer rate and still keep your no claims bonus. Insurance companies are counting on you just staying with them because you assume that they’re still the best deal, but a few minutes of checking online can often save you hundreds of pounds on your policy.

This article was written by James Harper on behalf of Main Dealer Discount, a company that might be able to help you save money on your BMW servicing. To find out how you might be able to save money on BMW servicing, click here and visit their site.

Photo: BRQ Network