Image by State Farm
When it comes to driving, there are many differences between men and women. In spite of these differences, both genders could be saving money on their car.
Although the stereotype indicates men are better drivers, the facts disagree. According to MoneySupermarket.com male drivers are responsible for 92% of driving convictions, and 98% of convictions for dangerous driving.
In fact, safe and careful driving not only saves you money on insurance claims, it saves on fuel too. To keep petrol costs down, stay within the speed limits, change speed gradually not suddenly, and drive in an appropriate gear for the speed you are travelling.
As women are statistically less likely to make insurance claims, some car insurance companies like Diamond or Sheila's Wheels market themselves as car insurance for women. Up until two years ago woman could save money by purchasing cheaper female-only car insurance through these companies, but in March 2011 the European Court of Justice ruled that this practise was unfair and it is now illegal to distinguish car insurance quotes based on gender.
In order to keep the costs of your car insurance down, use price comparison websites to find the best deal. If you are willing to pay a higher excess, you'll find your premiums will be lower, but you'll have to pay more of your own money in the event of a claim. Try not to overestimate your annual mileage, as this will increase premiums too, and if you have any additional driving qualifications, such as Pass Plus or defensive driving courses, be sure to let the insurance company know as this should bring down your insurance cost as well.
According to research by Carfinance247.co.uk and Usurv in June 2013, 18% of men pay with cash when buying a new car, compared to 12% of women. However, women are twice as likely to take out a car finance loan.
Whether you're buying a brand new car or second hand, it's worth thinking about how you are going to finance it. Ideally you would pay the full amount up front, and not have to pay any interest, although there are options if you don't have the full amount to hand. The cost can be added to a credit card, or you can take advantage of specific car finance loans.
If you are buying a brand new car, you might be offered a payment plan by the garage or dealership. These loans are usually not the best rates available, so shop around before choosing your source of finance. Compare interest rates and terms to find the right deal for you, and try to pay as much up front as you can.
If you are buying a second hand car read our guide for some additional tips.
Whether you're male or female, you can keep track of all your automobile expenses using financial management software such as Money Dashboard. Your bank or credit card payments for fuel, insurance, tax and maintenance will be automatically categorised under the Transport tag and you will be able to see how much of your income is spent on your car in colourful easy-to-read charts and graphs.