The cost of motoring, much like the cost of everything else, has risen starkly over the last year. The situation was critical in the summer of 2022, when diesel prices surpassed two pounds per litre at some filling stations. While things have calmed down somewhat since then, motorists are still feeling the squeeze. According to a recent Opinium survey, around a third of UK adults are experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of the squeeze in living costs.
Driving provides a flexibility and freedom that many of us won’t want to give up entirely. Even if you can manage to take some trips via train, or on foot, the car still serves an important function. If you need to leave work, pick up the shopping, pick up the kids, and do it all while leaving enough time to get the dinner on, then a car tends to be difficult to beat.
If you’re looking to reduce your monthly motoring costs, then there are a number of strategies you might resort to. Let’s run through a few of the most effective.
Driving on UK roads requires a valid MOT certificate, if the car is older than three years. But you might take things a stage further, and arrange for your car to be professionally serviced once a year – or, if you’re putting in a lot of miles, more often than that.
It’s quite straightforward to research petrol prices, and find the best deal. Figure out which stations are on your route, and find out who’s cheapest before you set out. Don’t drive too far out of the way, obviously – this is going to waste fuel.
Again, some research will help you to save on your parking spending. If you’re parking in the same place every day, you might see if you can save with the help of a season ticket – or even by renting out someone’s drive.
Car insurance is another legal requirement. When you’re comparing quotes, make sure that you’re doing so on a like-for-like basis. A good GAP insurance policy will reimburse you the value of the car when it was brand new, so you’re protected against sudden depreciation.
Learning to drive efficiently is a skill that too few of us take the time to develop. It basically amounts to slowing down, thinking ahead, and keeping your foot off the brake.
Not driving at all
We’ve already touched on this one. If you can substitute walking or cycling, then it usually makes sense to do so. That way, you’ll keep fit while you’re on the move. Alternatively, you might set up a carpooling scheme at work, effectively slashing your fuel costs (not to mention your emissions!).