Run Your Car On The Cheap, Not Your Bank Account On Empty

After the house, your car is your biggest expense. It’s an expensive piece of machinery that, according to the latest estimates, can cost anywhere between £4,000 and £15,000 a year to run, depending on the make and model.

Now, though, it’s time for drivers to start hitting back. It’s time to get the costs of running a car down to more manageable levels. Here’s what to do.

Cruise At 57 MPH


The speed at which you drive has an enormous impact on the amount of fuel you use. According to researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, every 5 mph you go over 57 mph adds an additional 20 pence a gallon to your fuel bills. It’s a good idea, therefore, to set your cruise control to 57 mph on long journeys, to maximise your fuel efficiency and bring down the cost of car ownership in the long run.

Shop Around

According to one study by J. D. Power, only around 39 percent of people shop around for services for their car. Most people don’t bother to look at multiple mechanic quotes before buying but it’s actually very easy to do. You can now get comparison quotes for mechanics, on sites like, and compare different prices in your local area.

Stop Idling

Most people think that idling a car doesn’t use up much fuel because they’re not going anywhere. But idling can actually cause the vehicle to burn through an enormous half gallon of petrol per hour. This is why so many cars now come with stop-start technology. It only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart a car – a very small amount. Argonne Laboratory in the US recommends that people drive their cars slowly for the first half a minute after they start them up. This is because fuel efficiency is lowest when the engine isn’t warm. Drivers who avoid idling and drive slowly during the first 30 seconds of driving could save as much as £100 a year.

Find The Right Motor Oil

Manufacturers are very specific about the type of motor oil a car should use. That’s because car engines are often calibrated to work best with a particular variety or grade. Cars that use the wrong motor oil can see their mileage reduced by between 1-2 percent. This is because the wrong oil can lead to increased friction in the engine, causing more energy to be lost as heat. Some agencies recommend that car owners use energy conserving oils that carry the API symbol. This symbol means that the oil contains additives that reduce friction. Time magazine estimates that drivers can save around £25 a year.

Mind Your Credit Score

There are plenty of reasons to pay off your credit in full at the end of the month. But one more reason is the fact that your credit score can actually impact your insurance rate. According to, those with poor credit scores can often end up paying more than 49 percent more than those with excellent credit scores.

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