Friday, 29 March 2013

Top ten money saving tips when buying or running a used car

Everyone is having to deal with the reality of life quickly becoming increasingly more expensive, so we're all on the look out for creative and effective ways to save money. Saving money does not have to be difficult- there are dozens of small and easy methods that make a big difference to your pocket book. Here are the top ten tips to help you save money when buying ore running a used car.

1. The price of petrol

Petrol has been a pressing issue on our car finances for a while, with the cost of a litre of petrol often peeking over a pound and the cost of diesel often peeking well-over a pound it's important to consider some fuel saving tips.
For someone who spends roughly £50 a week on fuel, this 20% efficiency increase would save around £500 a year. And, according to the RAC, boy racers can expect annual efficient driving gains to be up to 60%
  • Find the cheapest petrol – to find the cheapest petrol prices in your area visit This brilliant website is free to join and has over 10,000 UK petrol station prices updated daily to tell you which one is the cheapest in your area. Simply sign-up, entre your postcode and away you go!
  • Another website is which again uses postcode searches to find the cheapest petrol stations near you.
  • There are significant savings to be made by using these sites. You could save as much as 10p a litre on unleaded petrol, and 15p a litre on diesel.
  • Try saving money whilst you shop. Supermarket promotions are an easy way to save money on your petrol.
  • Did you also know that if you buy your petrol when the temperature is cooler, such as in the early morning before work, it becomes denser in cooler temperatures, and as petrol pumps only measure the volume - and not the density, you'll get overall more for your money by purchasing petrol when it is cool outside rather than in the heat of the day.

2. Less speed more haste!

As soon as you apply more pressure on the accelerator you are using more petrol. Try using these driving techniques to help you avoid using too much petrol and reduce CO2 emissions.
It's possible to drive the same distance in the same time, yet use considerably less fuel. You can chop up to 60% OFF your fuel costs without cutting your top speed. It's simply about driving more smoothly to boost your fuel efficiency.
  • Accelerate gradually without over-revving.
  • Speed up smoothly; when you press harder on the pedal more fuel flows, but you could get to the same speed using much less power – a good rule is to stay under 3,000 revs
  • Drive in the correct gear.
  • Always drive in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine.
  • Slow naturally. Rather than brake all the time, let your car slow naturally and use its stored momentum.
  • Think about road position.
  • To do all this takes road awareness, so the more alert you are, the better you can plan ahead and move gradually.

3. Compare insurance quotes

Insurance quotes can vary dramatically for your car, so it is definitely worth shopping around for Insurance premiums. Therefore start by deciding what cover you want and ensuring you're as low a risk as possible so that you get the best deal.
  • Try a price comparison website like or Simply type in your details and they will then and compare the price of hundreds of insurance premiums.
  • Some special deals might not be mentioned by comparison services. So once you’ve used the comparisons try these other providers which are not on the comparison websites as researched by
  • The AA.
  • First Direct.
  • Kwik Fit –
  • RAC –
  • Swiftcover –
  • Your job is important as all insurers keep a record of past claims made by each occupation, so they can see which are the most risky and more likely to claim. has built a tool to help you find a suitable cheaper alternative job title, but without having to get a new job.
  • Double check the quotes - Click through to the insurance provider's own website to double check the quotes, as some comparison sites make a few assumptions.
  • Examine the policies coverage. Is the policy suitable for you? So if you want "free car hire" if your car is being fixed, is it included? Plus while you're there it's worth playing with the policy details to see if you can finesse the price down; look at the excess, and whether adding drivers cuts the cost.
  • Breakdown cover – check if your policy includes breakdown cover, if not, then ensure that you arrange it.

4. Forward Plan

If you have a lengthy journey ahead of you it's always worth planning ahead to avoid adding on extra miles and using extra petrol or diesel.
Try journey planning websites to ensure you are getting the most for your miles:
  • – simply type in your postcode and the journey location and away you go. You can also request points to the route.
  • - You can search for routes using street or postcode, town, city or place of interest (eg sports ground, hospital, train station, airport). Get driving directions and a detailed map of your journey.
  • - Simply enter the information required Green Flag will suggest either your shortest, quickest or recommended route

5. Watch the money market

To ensure you know about all the issues which could potentially affect you and your motoring, ensure you visit these websites to keep up-to-date on the latest motoring news:
  • Consumer Direct is a government funded advice service for everyone to use. Our regionally based advisors are specially trained to give practical advice on consumer issues.
  • DVLA. Registers drivers and vehicles and collects vehicle taxation.
  • Portal to public service information from the UK Government, including directories, online services, news and information of relevance to specific groups.
  • Everything you need to know about motor finance from the FLA
  • Moneymadeclear is from the Financial Services Authority. They cut out the jargon and give you just the facts about financial products and services, helping you to make an informed decision
  • - Read 100s of car reviews for all makes of car from experts including What Car? Parkers, Top Gear & Auto Express.
  • - Visit BBC News for up-to-the-minute news, breaking news, video, audio and feature stories.
  • - Enforces consumer protection law and competition law, reviews proposed mergers and conducts market studies. Decisions, and press notices.
  • www.moneysavingexpert – this website is great for getting honest advice about what's really happening in the financial market place

6. Look after your car!

What we mean by that is, look after it as it will save you money in the long-run.
  • When it comes to maintenance and repairs on your vehicle, it makes sense to ensure you always have your car regularly checked and serviced. Also check your manufacturers warrantie to find out what repairs they cover.
  • If your warranty has run out, or you have a second hand car it is worth getting quotes from a couple of garages before you get any work done.
  • Finding a good, competent, honest, local garage can be a one of the biggest money saving moves you can make. When you’ve found one, treasure them for all they're worth, treat them politely, flatter them, and pay them on time. to find a recommended garage near you.

7. Nearly new and used cars can save you thousands

  • Did you know that brand new vehicles can lose anything up to 50% off their value within months? By purchasing a nearly new or used car you are ensuring that the car itself will depreciate a lot less than new cars and could also be alot more efficient to run.
  • Buying a used car doesn't need to be a painful experience if you purchase from an award-winning car supermarket like ours. Always check out the credentials of where you are buying the car from to ensure you get the best service and the best deal.
  • Did you know you can also check your cars MOT on-line? A car history check is the best investment you’ll make and could end up saving you hundreds of pounds in the long-term. Any reputable car retailer should talk to you about the MOT prior to your purchase.

8. Air con cool down

Turning off your air conditioning is a simple yet effective energy efficient solution to help you cut back on your fuel costs.
  • Did you know that air-con uses a large amount of fuel when driving at a slower speed, so if you use the windows and sunroof instead to cool you down, it will save you money on your car's fuel consumption.
  • However, driving with your windows and sunroof open while going fast down the motorway can reduce fuel efficiency by 10%, as an open window increases drag and burns more fuel. So, save the air-con for the motorway driving, and wind down your windows when you’re driving around town.
  • Turning off your air-conditioning could save you at least £2 per week on fuel, according to Read our
  • That’s over a £100 in a year. Think of what you could do with all that spare cash!

9. Can you feel the pressure?

By being aware of your car tyre pressure it can help you with safer motoring. You must:
  • Religiously check your car's tyre pressure each week with a high quality gage
  • Tyres that are under-inflated will reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3% for every 0.1 bar that the tyre is under-inflated so ensure that the pressure is correct (1.6 mm)
  • The amount you save all really lies on the type of tyres you have and the car you drive (and of course, the way you drive it), but according to Autotrader, under inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by 5%
  • For further information on your tyres read our article Tyre care for your car


10. Less weight means more miles!

  • Lastly try to ensure that you carry around as little as possible in your car as the extra weight will mean using extra petrol. Clear out boots and unnessecary objects on seats etc as they all add to your fuel economy.
  • Because fuel is also heavy, every time you fill up you'll be adding weight to your car.
  • A heavy car will burn more fuel, making it less economical, and therefore costing you more to run. So, filling up slightly more often and putting slightly less in will make the car run more efficiently.
  • Try to fill up at least fifty miles before your tank runs dry. That way there'll be no panic about running out of petrol, and you'll have enough time to get to a cheaper petrol station. If you leave it until the tank is virtually empty you'll end up filling up at the next garage you see, which could well be one of the most expensive in the area. When you're filling up, aim for your tank being between half and three quarters full.

Thanks: & google pics

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I have been searching for some used cars in Brownsville TX since I just moved down near that area. I have been considering many different options, so I want to see everything in person first.

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