Five ways to drive down the cost of MARTIN LEWIS
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PETROL prices are up, car insurance prices are up, breakdown costs are up – but don’t let it get you down.
There are many ways to slash the cost of motoring.
Let me show you five easy ways to put the brakes on your vehicular costs.
DON’T OVERPAY ON BREAKDOWN COVER
BACK-UP in case your car fails is important, especially if you rely on it for work or the kids.
A year of cover at autoaidbreakdown.co.uk costs £48 – not much more than basic policies with the big firms – and it includes home start and onward travel and includes cover for you and your spouse (including civil partners) at no extra cost. Call-out times are said to be roughly similar too.
If you prefer a big firm, the golden rule when it comes to renewal is to haggle. It really works.
If you want a basic AA or RAC policy, new customers buying through cashback sites topcashback.co.uk or Quidco.com can reduce the price to £20 a year (it changes daily).
FIND THE CHEAPEST FUEL
USE petrolprices.com. Create a free account, enter your postcode and select how far you’re willing to travel to a forecourt (5, 10 or 25 miles) – the difference between best and worst can be huge.
For example, in Birmingham it ranges from 114.7per litre to 137.9 per litre for unleaded petrol within a five mile radius – a difference of almost 20%. Even just cutting the cost by 5% saves someone who puts £50 in their tank a week £130 a year. Check supermarkets for offers too.
DRIVE EFFICIENTLY AND SAVE
HOW you drive is the biggest single factor affecting your fuel costs, and in extreme cases people find they can save 30% when they change their driving habits.
over-revving. than feels natural.
position, so you can keep moving rather than stopping and starting.
instead of hitting the brakes.
hear sharp acceleration and screeching brakes, you’re doing it wrong.
FREE HALFORDS WINTER CAR CHECK
HALFORDS.COM is offering a free ‘£15’ winter car check, which includes checks to your battery, bulbs, wiper blades, oil and screen wash levels. There’s no need to book in advance, though you can do so online if you want, and the check should take about 15 minutes. There is no obligation to buy anything, but be prepared that staff might try to upsell to you. The winter car check is on until spring.
TWO OR MORE CARS AT HOME? CHECK MULTI-CAR
NEVER auto renew car insurance. Check you’ve the right cover using the right comparison sites – see moneysavingexpert.com/ carinsurance
Add in directline.com and aviva.co.uk which comparison sites don’t include. If you’ve got a multi-car policy, check standalone insurers first. If you’ve got standalone, check multi-car first.
Many don’t think to look at multi-car because renewal dates aren’t close. Admiral. com, lv.com and Aviva let you set up a policy at your first car’s renewal, while the other car(s) stay with their existing insurer until their renewal.
■ Martin Lewis is the founder of Moneysavingexpert.com. Get his free Money Tips at money savingexpert.com/ latesttip