Running a car is one of the biggest drains on a household budget, so we asked Which? members for their money-saving motoring tips.
We had loads of great suggestions – some sensible, some wacky – but these are the top five examples, as selected by our experts.
A big thank-you to everybody who sent us a tip. We’ve now started a blog at Which? Conversation on this topic, so follow the link for more cash-conserving ideas – and to suggest your own.
1. Drive carefully
“Plan your driving to minimise the use of your brakes. This means anticipation and, among other things, leaving a two-second gap to the vehicle in front on the motorway. It’s a safe way to drive that saves me more than £100 a year in fuel and maintenance costs. And it will probably lengthen your life by reducing driving stress.” Michael Offiler
2. Take the IAM driving test
“Take the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) driving test. Not only will you be less likely to have an accident in the first place, but you can also get insurance through IAM Surety, which cost me £100 less than the cheapest quote I could get from price comparison websites. The policy also had a smaller excess.” Jeff Childs
3. Rent your parking space
“If you have a spare parking space that you don’t use, you could make money from it – especially if you live near a station of town centre. A commuter rents my driveway from Monday to Friday for £20 a month. You need to pay a small fee to register on a website such as ParkatmyHouse or ParkonmyDrive. After that, the cost of renting out the space is up to you.” Emma Earl
4. Challenge price comparison websites
“When you get your annual renewal for insurance and breakdown cover, get a quote direct from the company’s website and also run your details through a price comparison site. Then phone and ask why the price is showing as lower on the website for new customers. The AA will normally match without much fuss and you can always cancel and buy as a new customer if they don’t. I have saved £50-£70 on my AA renewal for the past few years.” Tom Gardner
5. Cut your car insurance excess
“When buying car insurance online, the insurer usually includes a voluntary excess. I always change this to zero and invariably find that the premium quoted remains the same or only very slightly more. It will save you money if you do have a prang.” John Briggs