Published on: 03/10/2022
For many people, having their motor by their side is a necessity. With inflation on the rise and a new survey reporting that motorists last year (2021) spent £803 fixing their vehicles, some drivers may worry that they will be unable to afford to fix their car if it breaks down or needs repairs.
We know that accidents and repairs out of our control can happen, but what can you do today to reduce your chances of facing costly car repairs? Read on to discover top money-saving tips from Trust My Garage.
It’s Time for Change
Sometimes you can avoid unnecessary costs by changing the way you drive. Brakes are one of the most common areas where car repairs are needed, including pads, discs and callipers. While brake components do eventually wear out through normal wear and tear, you can help to maintain them through some simple changes to your driving habits:
- Don’t ride the brake: Do you rest your foot on the brake pedal even when it’s not necessary? Riding your brake can wear your pads faster, especially at high speeds.
- Drive sensibly: Obey the speed limits around you. Feeling frustrated at a slow driver? Don’t tailgate – always leave enough room. Not only is this dangerous, sudden and harsh braking can cause you to wear your brakes faster, while driving at faster speeds burns more fuel.
- Keep it light: Are you carrying unnecessary items in your boot? Overloading your motor with heavy items you don’t need can affect your brake life due to the extra weight in your vehicle. It is worth noting that keeping your car light also helps reduce fuel consumption.
Reduce Your Fuel Costs
Whilst changing your braking habits can reduce wear on your brakes and save fuel at the same time, here are even more changes you can make to reduce your fuel costs:
- Stop driving everywhere: It’s easier said than done, but you can reduce fuel costs by walking to places that you’d ordinarily drive to, those within walking distance of course.
- Consider your journeys: Check your route before setting off to avoid burning fuel by sitting in traffic, and combine or car share your journeys where possible.
- Sometimes sitting in traffic is unavoidable, if your car doesn’t have automatic spot/start technology, think about switching the engine off if you are going to be stationary for more than a minute or two.
- Check your tyre pressure regularly: Driving with inadequate tyre pressure increases your car’s drag, in turn increasing your fuel consumption and the likelihood of costly tyre blowouts. Driving with the correct tyre pressure means you’re more likely to be fuel efficient and extend the lifespan of your tyres.
- If you have a roof rack fitted but don’t need to use it for the time being, remove it, this too will reduce drag and save fuel.
- Think about how you use your air conditioning, whilst on cooler days your air conditioning can help demist your car, having the air conditioning on when it’s not needed uses additional fuel.
Small Checks Make a Big Difference
Regular checks and servicing, whilst seemingly expensive, can save you money in the long term as you could prevent breakdowns, increase your car’s lifespan, up the value of your car and keep other road users safe.
Maintain your oil levels through regular servicing: The oil in your car cleans and protects the engine, so neglecting your car’s oil levels can cause issues such as engine knocking and engine seizing, costing a substantial amount of money to repair.
- Keep your engine air filter clean: Your car’s air filter prevents dust and dirt from being drawn into the engine, keeping it working efficiently and performing at its best. The cost of a new air filter can be as cheap as £25 and therefore much less than the cost of replacing engine components caused by a dirty air filter.
- Do you have an advisory from your MOT? You are under no legal obligation to fix your advisories, but ignoring them could potentially lead to small issues worsening and becoming more expensive to fix in the future, as well as making your car unroadworthy.
Looking to service your car? Visit TrustMyGarage.co.uk and type in your car reg and postcode to find your nearest trusted independent garage, who can check that your car is running efficiently and help you and your vehicle get the best value service for your money.
It’s Not Too Late to Save
Whilst prices are increasing now, it’s not too late to try these extra motoring money saving tips:
- Put some money aside: Whilst it can be challenging to start up a new fund, putting some money aside purely for car maintenance can prove beneficial in the long run. Saving even a few pounds from each pay cheque for a year, could go a long way to making your car repairs less of a burden.
- Go with an independent garage you can trust: Independent garages can offer better value for money than main dealers, and all Trust My Garage members follow TMG’s Code of Practice for Service and Repair. This means you have peace of mind that your nearest member will work to the highest standards, have up-to-date technical information, techniques and tools, and will charge you the correct amount for your repairs.
- See if your garage offers a payment plan: Some local garages may offer ways to spread the cost of your repairs. Whilst this is not common practice, it’s worth checking in with your garage to see what they offer.
We understand that times are tough and with the cost of living crisis showing no signs of slowing, we hope that these tips may be of help to you. You can also take a look at some of our other recent blog posts that may help you reduce your car costs:
- Top tips for saving fuel
- Why Choose a Local Independent Garage?
- It’s Time to Book Your MOT Early
- DVLA Services Online: Third Party or Not?
About Trust My Garage
Start saving money by going to a garage you can trust! Trust My Garage members are the best of Britain’s local garages – every member is dedicated to giving their customers the best service and working to the highest standards.
All the garages in the Trust My Garage network are members of the Independent Garage Association, which is part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, one of Britain’s oldest motor trade organisations.
If you want to find out more about Trust My Garage or locate your nearest member, visit our website here. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest motoring news and car care advice!