Ways to save on motoring
Follow our 10 tips to help you drive down your car costs by hundreds of pounds.
1. Find the cheapest petrol in your area
Cut your motoring costs by paying less at the pumps. The internet is a great tool for finding the cheapest fuel in your area, with no website more exhaustive than PetrolPrices. Just tap in your postcode to bring up prices for over 11,000 stations across the UK and you could make substantial savings on the running costs of your motor.
2. Cut the cost of your MOT
There's a maximum test fee of £54.85 set by the government for car MOTs, but you can currently get it done half-price through Auto Trader and Halfords Auto centre until 30 September 2011.Some garages try to attract customers by offering reduced prices. To avoid the cowboys, choose a garage through a personal recommendation – use Which? Local to find reputable garages recommended by Which?members.
3. Save money on your sat nav
Shop around for the best sat nav deal. You don't have to pay over the odds to get a great sat nav system. Our cheapest Which? Best Buy - the Garmin Nuvi 205W - can be picked up online for around £65.Check out the Which? sat nav reviews for the pros and cons of differently priced systems to ensure the one you choose offers good value for money.
4. Pay less for vehicle checks
Whether you're buying a vehicle privately or from a dealer, checking the car’s history is essential. Ways to save on motoring compared vehicle check services and found that Experian AutoCheck and HPI are worth the £19.99 you pay for cover. If you buy a used car worth up to £10,000 on eBay, the auction site's own RAC powered HPI check is good value at £6.99.
5. Buy your car insurance online
Shop around online for the best deals on car insurance. If you're looking to save money on car cover, it makes sense to buy online. Our last survey showed that it's generally much cheaper than buying over the phone. Also, be sure to review your insurance costs each year and switch to a Which? Recommended Provider for the best cover and service – see the Which? car insurance reviews for more information.
6. Get better value breakdown cover
Join a breakdown service to help you cut costs if your car packs up. The AA and Britannia's breakdown services performed well in latest Which? survey, with assistance from both firms arriving at the scene of breakdowns within 35 minutes.
7. Make money from your parking space
Websites such as ParkatmyHouse and ParkonmyDrive enable property owners to rent out their empty driveways and garages to motorists needing a place to park. You normally pay a one-off registration fee to have your space advertised - the cost of renting a space is up to the space owner.
8. Join a car-sharing scheme
Joining a car-sharing scheme could halve your fuels costs - according to CarShare, sharing a daily commute can save you more than £1,000 a year.Check sites such as Liftshare and Carshare for more information on these schemes.
9. Grab a green car
Green cars like the Toyota Prius could save you money. The new car tax rates mean that cars with the lowest CO2 emissions will be exempt from charges, while the worst gas guzzlers could incur annual fees of up to £460. Our guide to green car technologies has lots more top advice on going green.
10. Find cut-price car parts If you're in need of any discount car parts, try AutoTrader's used car parts finder. You can search a database of over 450,000 quality used car parts from nationally recognised salvage experts.
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