The A-Z of saving on car costs
05/01/2018 | Zurich Life
The cost of purchasing and running a car can quickly add up. But there are some clever savings tips and tools that can help you budget for your car expenses.
The cost of purchasing and maintaining a car can quickly add up. It's important to make savings wherever you can when buying a new vehicle and to have a financial plan and budget in place.
There are a number of tips and cost saving measures you can take to keep the expense of running a car at a minimum. Check out our A-Z on for budgeting tips on how you can do just that and take the hassle and stress out of moving house.
A is for... App
Finding the cheapest petrol stations can save you money on your fuel bill. There are some handy Apps that you can download, such as Pumps.ie, which will find you the cheapest fuel stations across the country based on their location.
B is for... Budget
Always have a budget in mind before you start looking for a new motor. Not having a budget could lead to you getting carried away and could overstretch your finances. There is no point buying a car you can't afford, so work out your budget and stick to it.
C is for... Checked
You've found the car and it's within budget, great! Now you need to get it fully checked out by a trusted mechanic. It's a big purchase and there can be a lot going on under the bonnet, so it's important to know you're getting a good motor that checks out.
D is for... Driving technique
You can save on fuel by driving more efficiently. Limiting the amount you rev the engine, using your gears correctly and moving up into a higher gear as soon as possible, are simple tweaks to your driving technique that make your car more fuel efficient. The more you stop and driving over the speed limit, can also increase fuel consumption.
E is for... Easy fix
You might not be a qualified mechanic but there are some minor things you should be able to do yourself. Your handbook will give you a broad outline of you motor and is good place to start. There are plenty of online forums that will give you advice and tips for novices, some of which are specific to particular makes and models.
F is for... Fuel economy
Every year new cars get more and more energy efficient. This is good news for the environment and for your wallet as you will spend less at the petrol bump if you have an energy efficient car. As an incentive for buying motors that have lower CO2 emissions, road tax and company car tax is cheaper too.
G is for... Gauge
Gauge how much fuel you use and the mileage of your daily commute then see if there is a shorter route you can take. Could you leave earlier or later and avoid the rush hour traffic? If you can, not only will it save you money on your fuel but it will also reduce your time commuting.
H is for... Heavy items
If you have heavy items, such as golf clubs, sitting in the boot of your car that you aren't using every day, take them out of the boot when not in use. Driving around with a heavy load in the car is less fuel efficient.
I is for... Insurance
To help keep the cost of your car insurance down, try to avoid having penalty points on your licence. Check if any named drivers have points too as this may disqualify you from other discounts. Call Zurich on 053 915 7775 or 1890 400 300 to get a quote today.
J is for... Journey
There is nothing more frustrating than getting lost. Not only is it a waste of time but it is a complete waste of fuel. Always do a journey planner on Google Maps before heading off, especially if it's a long journey.
K is for... Kilometres per gallon
Knowing how much it costs to fuel your car is really helpful as it will give you an idea of how much you will spend each week on petrol or diesel. To work out how much you are spending on fuel, fill the tank and then reset the counter to determine how much of a distance you can cover with a full tank. Handy websites such as Convert World can do the conversion for you.
L is for... Loyalty
Sign up for a loyalty card with the petrol station you are most likely to use the most. Build up your points to get money off your petrol or diesel costs or use it to buy products such as anti -freeze or windscreen cleaner.
M is for... Market value
Whether you're buying or selling a car, its worthwhile checking the market value of the car before you advertise it for sale or before you begin your search. Adverts.ie has a handy tool that can help you with the valuation of a motor. This will be useful when working out your budget for a new car and how much you can expect to receive if you are selling a car.
N is for... Negotiate
When buying a car it's always advisable to negotiate with the dealer to try to get the price down. If it's a second hand car, there might be some marks to the body work or the interior might not be in the best condition. These are purely cosmetic flaws and shouldn't affect the drivability of the car, but they might be useful bargaining tools to lower the price.
O is for... Oil
Using the right oil will lower fuel consumption and ensure your engine is running more efficiently. It's advisable to use the recommended oil for your motor rather than a lower grade or cheaper alternative.
P is for... Parking
Finding the cheapest park space for your car can save you a considerable amount, especially if you pay for parking regularly. A great resource, Parkopedia.ie allows drivers to find the closest parking to their destination, tells them how much it will cost and whether the space is available. Often online car park prices can be cheaper than offline, so it's a good idea to do some research to find the best value. For example, Q-park customers can save up to 50% by booking online.
Q is for... Question
Ask yourself what car you would like, how much it's likely to cost and how you will pay for it. Will you pay cash or are you going to make a down payment followed by monthly instalments? How large will the payments be and for how long will they need to be made? Obviously, if you can pay for the motor in one initial payment it will be cheaper. Once you have a car in mind and have worked out how you are going to cover the financial cost, you need to then ask yourself how much you have saved and how much additional savings you will need to make the purchase.
R is for... Rotate
Not only is it dangerous to drive with low tyres but it will also affect your cars fuel efficiency, so it makes sense to keep them inflated correctly. Front tires wear more quickly than rear tires so it's a good idea to rotate your tyres every few months so that your tyres wear evenly and don't have to be replaced so quickly.
S is for... Share
Sharing your car is a great way to save money. Car pooling with work colleagues or other parents on the school run, not only reduces your fuel consumption and reduces wear and tear on your car, but it can also be a good way to meet and interact with new people.
T is for... Tolls
Whether you use the motorways regularly or once in a blue moon, it's a good idea to register for a toll tag. There are different toll companies that operate different motorways. Companies such as etoll.ie list the various electronic tag companies in Ireland and the tolls they cover. By registering for a tag not only will it take the hassle out of having to have the correct amount of change every time, but it will also reduce your overall cost for using the motorway as tags offer better rates.
U is for... Used car
Motorcheck.ie is a great source of information when making a decision on which used car to purchase. Users can determine the background of any vehicle registered in Ireland or the UK and instantly identify problems such as whether the vehicle has been in a crash, if it was stolen, the valuation or if there outstanding finance on it.
V is for... Value
A car will instantly lose value once you purchase it and drive it out of the showroom. It is also worthwhile thinking about how much your car's value will drop year-on-year and how much your car will sell for in a few years' time if you decide to trade it in. The AA estimate that if you do 10,000 miles a year, the average car will have lost around 60% of its value. This is something worth thinking about when purchasing a car and indeed if you plan to sell it at a later stage.
W is for... Winter
Not only is preparing your vehicle for winter a safety precaution, but it can also mean your car drives more efficiently. You can do simple checks yourself of your battery, tyres, anti-freeze, and windscreen wipers. Knowing that your motor is winter ready can give you peace of mind when the weather changes.
X is for.. Xenon headlights
You've saved money on the cost of purchasing and running your car, so now could be the time to treat yourself to some Xenon headlights. Initially they are more expensive to purchase, but according to BMW Xenon headlights offer many advantages over halogen ones. Because they are based on noble gas, they provide a brighter light, consume less energy, and last longer than conventional headlamps.
Y is for... Yearly
While it might be tempting to only bring your car to a mechanic when something is wrong, it is a good idea to bring your car for a service once a year to ensure it is roadworthy and to prevent engine issues developing further down the road. Taking care of your car will also prolong its life and reduce the number of visits to the mechanic, so do regular checks on things like the oil and tyres.
Z is for... Zurich
Zurich offers a number of savings and investment plans specifically tailored to suit your requirements and savings strategy.
The cost of purchasing and running a car can quickly add up. But Zurich has come up with some savings tips and tools that help you budget for your car expenses. Our budget calculator will help you get to grips with your monthly income and expenses and will help you see where savings can be made. In addition, our excel budget template will help you plan and manage your money more effectively.
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