As fuel costs rise yet again, British drivers are finding themselves pouring more of their cash into their cars. Couples or families with two cars are considering selling their cars to avoid debt problems. According to a recent report from British Car Auctions, the number of two car households in the UK has fallen by 5% in the last year. Plus petrol prices are still going up; by 2015 an average tank of petrol may cost as much as £100.
The following money saving tips should help you keep a little more in your pocket, so you can afford the fuel increase:
- Find the cheapest petrol station by shopping around. At PetrolPrices.com you can enter a postcode and see the prices at all the nearest petrol stations. Check near your home, place of work, and anywhere else you drive to regularly, and see if you could be saving money.
- In addition to being more fuel-efficient and better for the environment, Diesel cars often have lower tax charges and depreciate more slowly. You might pay a little more for a tank of fuel but it will last you longer. Whether you are downsizing to a cheaper car or buying a new car, Diesel is the frugal choice.
- Think about car-sharing. Can you get a lift from someone you work with? Or offer them a lift if they chip in for fuel. This doesn't just apply at work; anywhere you are driving, you could see whether you can share a ride.
- You don't always need to drive. For short journeys you could walk, take a bus, or ride a bike.
- If you only need your car every now and then, perhaps you'd be better off as part of a Car Club. Carplus.org.uk can help you find a Pay-As-You-Go car nearby whenever you require it.
- Drive more efficiently. It may be difficult to believe, but if you avoid harsh acceleration and sudden breaking (i.e. drive smoothly) it will decrease your fuel consumption dramatically.
- Maintain your car. Change your oil as regularly as is recommended by the manufacturer and keep your tyres at full pressure.
- Fill your car up early in the morning, when the ground is still cold. Fuel is stored underground, and the cold condenses the fuel, giving you more miles per gallon.
- Some credit cards will give you cashback on fuel purchases. Be sure to check into this when choosing a new credit card.
- Modern cars rarely require premium fuel. If you are shelling out for this and it's hurting your wallet, switch to regular fuel and you might not even notice the difference.
- Some maintenance you might be able to do yourself. If you spend a day researching online, you might be able to figure out what is wrong with your car, order the part to replace it, and perhaps even replace it yourself, all by following guides and advice from reputable sources on the Internet. Try AutoRepair.About.com to start with, and you could save on hefty garage bills.
Still not sure whether or not you can afford the second car? (Or the only car, as the case may be.) Money Dashboard is an easy-to-use online app that allows you to see all your bank account and credit card transaction and balances in one place. Money Dashboard is free money manager software for individuals and families. Most of your car-related spend will be automatically tagged into the appropriate categories enabling you to see how much your car is costing you per month in total. It's free to use; register now and try it out by adding our demo accounts.