Five ways to drive down the cost of MARTIN LEWIS

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Nottingham Post - - CASHING IN -

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

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