We all know fuel prices are rising: we hear it in the news, we see it at the petrol stations as we go by, and we really feel it when we have to fill the car up. But how much are we really spending on fuel? We know that prices have been creeping up steadily; just before MDB was launched, in Feb 2010, the average visit to the pump was £37.19. Now, in June 2011, the average price for a visit to the pump is nearer to £42.14; that's a massive increase by 13% in just over a year.
Car insurance has increased by even more. Many UK car owners have seen their insurance premiums increase on average by 30% in the last 12 months. So, what does this mean? Well, to start with, the cost of car ownership is just rising and rising and for many car ownership is starting to be seen as a luxury. For some it has meant that the car is being used less (Motorists make fewer car journeys) and for others it has meant potentially placing themselves at risk (Motorists unhappy about rising fuel prices).
So, if you are concerned about the rising cost of car ownership here are a few questions to think about:
- For those short journeys, is there an alternative?
- For travel to work, can you share?
- Have you followed our tips for cheaper car insurance?
- Are you driving efficiently?
- Have you checked out the latest cashback deals?
If it's essential for you to use the car to get to and from work is there anyone who you can share with? If you live near to someone you work with, or can stop off and pick them up / drop them off on your commute, why not suggest a lift share and halve your monthly fuel bill?
If you live close to work and have a bike then why not cycle to work. Even if you don't have a bike many businesses offer the bike to work scheme, so you could check that out. Even when dropping the kids off at school and nursery, could you walk or cycle rather than drive?
There are a whole set of saving tips to think about when renewing car insurance:
- shop around
- increase your excess
- estimate your mileage properly
Why not check out our blog on How to save money on car insurance.
Believe it or not but you can save fuel by driving more efficiently; it's all about driving more smoothly. Avoid harsh acceleration and sudden braking. Instead read the road ahead so you can moderate your speed. Drive in the correct gear, avoid labouring the engine and make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure; if your tyres are under pressure you will have increased rolling resistance that requires more fuel to maintain the same speed (Kwik-fit), you will also find that this wears out your tyres more quickly.
We have talked about cashback before but what you may not have realised is that you can get cashback deals on fuel too.
Cashback cards pay you back each time you spend money on them, so when you go to the fuel pump and pay with your cashback card you can get money back.