Getting a Handle on Car Running Costs

Owning a car gives you the freedom to move from point A to point B on your own time and terms, but the costs of ownership can easily become a nightmare to deal with, especially if you’re on a tight budget. With the cost of just about everything on the rise, drivers are looking to cut their car running costs in various ways.


What are Car Running Costs?

Car running costs are usually directly related to vehicle use. This includes the amount of money you pay for fuel, tolls and parking. It also includes the usual scheduled service and repairs. Every mile driven adds an additional amount to your annual running costs while every mile reduced cuts your running costs by the same amount.

These costs largely depend on its type, engine displacement, overall size and how often it’s driven. Features like an automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, forced displacement (turbocharging/supercharging) and air conditioning all have an effect on your car’s ultimate annual running costs.

How to Reduce Car-Related Expenditures

Regularly scheduled maintenance is perhaps one of the most important factors in controlling car running costs. Keeping your vehicle well-maintained goes a long way towards reducing or even eliminating auto repair expenditures. By having your vehicle properly serviced by an experienced mechanic, you can save money that would otherwise go towards emergency repairs, which are often far more expensive than regular maintenance.

Taking your car to the dealer’s service facility is often an expensive affair thanks to the markup on parts and service. In many cases, you’re better off seeking an independent garage with a good reputation and skilled technicians on hand to take care of your vehicle. The cost of having your car maintained by an independent garage can be significantly cheaper than having the same service done at the dealership.

Finding smarter ways of making the daily commute can also go a long way towards reducing car running costs. This includes finding a shorter route, driving during non-peak times (before or after rush hour traffic) and taking alternative forms of transportation, including buses and biking. Not only will you be able to save money on fuel and parking costs, but you’ll also save plenty of wear and tear on your vehicle and have a positive impact on the environment.

Other Ways to Save

You can also find additional savings by re-evaluating your car’s current insurance costs. If you’ve had your auto insurance policy for a while and haven’t compared it to other policies, now may be the time to do so. By comparing insurance quotes from multiple providers, you may be able to find one that is able to offer lower monthly premiums for the same or better amount of service.

If you plan on sticking with your current insurance provider, you may be able to take advantage of various discounts. For instance, you may be eligible for a “safe driver” discount by keeping your driving record free of traffic offenses, accidents and claims for a certain number of years. Discounts are also available for having two or more vehicles under the same policy or having other types of insurance with the same company. As a last resort, you can also lower your deductible to reduce your monthly premiums. To find out more about how to save money on your car, visit


Getting a Handle on Car Running Costs
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