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Top 10 money saving tips for motorists

Every driver wants to save money, but some penny pinching methods are not as obvious as others. Here, Coverbox takes a look at some top tips on how you can prevent your car from driving a huge dent into your wallet.
Coins on a table

Money saving tips for all young drivers

Being a motorist is expensive! Once the test is out of the way, any young driver is likely to be brimming with excitement as they look forward to the freedom that owning a car gives them. But the costly reality of maintaining and running a vehicle often hits home pretty quickly.

And these costs often lead to drivers searching for smart ways to save money on their car insurance, fuel costs, and servicing fees.

If you want to know how to leave a little extra money in your bank account, here are Coverbox's top money saving tips.

1. Streamline your vehicle

If you think back to your science lessons at school, you may remember that a vehicle will move more easily through the air if it's designed to be aerodynamic (i.e. if it has a shape that reduces wind resistance).

Roof bars and a roof-top cargo box can greatly increase your wind resistance, which in turn increases fuel consumption, so make sure you remove them if they're not being used to transport anything. Another great way of improving the car's aerodynamic efficiency is by closing the windows when driving at higher speeds. If it's a hot day, you can use the air con instead, but be warned that this also increases fuel consumption. A good compromise is to have the windows up and air con on at high speeds, but windows down and air con off at lower speeds.

2. Practise smart parking

Being a smart parker will help keep your vehicle safe and prevent the dreaded parking ticket. Making sure you park within painted lines and not too close to another vehicle can help avoid damage to your car because of a driver carelessly swinging their door open (which could mean repair costs).

Also, keep a close eye on the time when you've prepaid for parking to ensure you don't accidentally overstay your welcome and end up with a parking ticket – some fines for parking can be really steep and if, horror of horrors, your car is towed away, the costs of recovering it can run into hundreds of pounds.

Keep in mind that if you ever find you're unfairly charged with a parking fine, a telematics device could help prove your innocence if you decide to appeal it.

3. Shed the excess baggage

Is your boot and/or backseat packed full of unnecessary items? The heavier a car is the more fuel it will need to get it moving and keep it going (yes, more science basics here), so it's a good idea to lose any weight that isn't necessary for your trip.

4. Are you sure you know the way?

Getting lost means more time on the road and more fuel consumed. Using a sat-nav is a great way of shortening your journeys and saving the expense and stress of driving around in circles as you try to find your destination.

Modern sat-navs, whether they're built into your vehicle or an app on your phone, are very intelligent and can calculate the fastest route, helping ensure you don't spend more time on the road than necessary.

5. Be a smooth driver

Sudden acceleration followed by harsh braking is a sure-fire way to wear down your brakes (leading to higher maintenance costs) and put a hole in your purse by increasing your fuel consumption. Just how much of a problem is this? Read our blog on how poor driving skills are costing motorists more money to find out.

Instead, staying in control of your speed, smoothly applying the accelerator and then giving yourself plenty of time to slow down, will help you save fuel and make you, and your passengers, feel much safer.

The data provided by the Coverbox black box device can help you see how well you're driving by displaying your driving data on your Dashboard.

6. Check your tyres

Tyres that are inflated correctly will help improve your fuel mileage, extend the life of your tyres, and improve your vehicle's safety, all of which help you save, so it's good to get used to checking their pressure. You'll need a tyre pressure gauge and, in case the tyres need pumping up, a pump (foot or compressor will do it) or go to a petrol station, most have air and water available .

The correct pressure setting will depend on the size of the tyre, the make of your vehicle, and the weight of your vehicle. You should be able to find the correct pressure readings for your car's tyres in the manual, printed on the inside ledge of the driver's door, or inside the petrol cap.

7.Do some DIY maintenance

Obviously, you should never work on your car if you're not confident with what you're doing, and anything complex, changing brake pads for example, should be left to the professionals. But for things like a simple car wash, there's no real need to pay someone else to do it. So grab a sponge and bucket and give your car some TLC.

Replacing features such as light bulbs, windscreen wiper blades, dashboard fuses etc are also not too hard to learn to do yourself, and could save you a bit of money on repair fees at the garage.

8. Do you need to make the journey?

Sometimes you need to ask yourself whether the journey you're making really needs you to take your car. Sure, more often than not it is the most convenient option, but sometimes public transport, cycling, or just plain walking provides a much cheaper alternative.

And if you and a group of your friends are all headed in the same direction, don't take separate vehicles. Carpooling and then splitting the fuel money between you is an economically smart and environmentally friendly way of travelling.

9. Always be the safest driver you can be

It goes without saying that if you're involved in an accident, the consequences could be expensive. The costs of settling claims are high, and you're likely to lose your No Claims Discount and have to pay your excess if you are the one found to be responsible.

While you can't control the risky behaviour of other drivers, you can minimise your chances of being involved in an accident by driving as safely as you possibly can – which means staying within the speed limit, remaining vigilant of hazards at all times, and making sure the inside of your car is clear of any distractions.

Of course, your months/years of driving lessons have taught you to be a safe, responsible road user, but that doesn't mean there may not still be room for improvement. And there is a great tool that you can use to help you do this.

10. Black box insurance

With telematics insurance, the price of your premium is based on your own driving ability and how responsible you prove yourself to be. The black box device, which is fitted into your car, records driving data for every journey – meaning it will detect both good and bad driving habits of anyone who drives the car.

The information is available on your Dashboard, so you can review your skill, and any potentially risky behaviour will be brought to your attention. At renewal, your insurer will review the data, and as long as you've taken the necessary steps to improve any poor driving behaviour, the data will prove you're a safe, reliable, and legal driver, making it much more likely for your insurer to offer you the best possible price on your premium.

Coverbox offers black box insurance to help the best drivers make savings.

Following these tips could help you avoid unnecessary expenditure when it comes to your car. Small changes can lead to big savings. Can you afford not to?

Do you have any tips on how to save money on your motoring? Tweet us your ideas @Coverbox.