Saturday, January 16

How to Save Money on Car Expenses

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South Africa’s extended lockdown period has had a devastating effect on the finances of many South Africans. Many of us are struggling to make ends meet and are looking for ways to cut back expenses and save money. Monthly budgets and assessing where you can and can’t cut back will help. If you own a car, this is one area where you can potentially save money and avoid any future, unexpected costs. Not sure how? Here are a few ways to cut back on car-related expenses during this time:

Save on fuel

car

Petrol prices are unpredictable at the best of times and now more than ever we need to be prepared for unexpected price increases. If you are using your car during the lockdown, this is one expense that you will still need to endure but try your best to limit unnecessary driving to lower your fuel expenditure every month. If you need to be on the road, try and plan your trips during non-peak times. This will reduce stopping and starting, making it a shorter trip and ultimately using less petrol. If your car uses diesel, make sure you shop around as the price of diesel can differ dramatically from petrol station to petrol station.

Don’t skimp on insurance

car

Motor insurance is one place you shouldn’t skimp. Comprehensive car insurance is still a must as cancelling your insurance can potentially cost you a lot more should an accident occur. If you feel like your car insurance is too expensive, shop around for cheaper premiums or ask your current insurer to meet the quote from a competitor.

You can also consider eliminating certain parts of your car insurance to suit your lifestyle and save money. Choose certain cover limitations on your policy depending on their needs and lifestyle. For example, you may not need or want certain elements insured, such as windscreen cover, night-time driving, monthly mileage, weekend driving, hail cover and an open driver option. Many insurance companies will allow you to remove this from your policy if you don’t need them, bringing your monthly premium down.

Create a carpool

car

Another great way to save on car expenses is to start a carpool with your work colleagues or neighbours. This will minimise the number of trips you will have to use your car for, decrease the number of times you will need to fill up on petrol and reduce any further wear and tear to your vehicle. Just remember to adhere to all Covid-19 regulations, such as wearing a mask and sanitising while in a car with others.

Keep on top of basic car maintenance

Keeping up with basic car maintenance will also help you save money in the long run. Remember to change your car’s oil every 5,000kms. Oil lubricates the engine and absorbs heat, reducing overheating, and allowing for all the parts to work together. Changing the oil regularly will extend the life of your car’s engine saving you money in the long run.

The same goes for your tyres. Tyres can potentially cost you money when you least expect it. Check the tyre pressure regularly using a type pump – having under-inflated tyres uses more petrol, resulting in otherwise avoidable money wastage. Also, rotating and balancing tyres once a year will help to stop the tread from reducing too soon, decrease the wear and tear to your shock absorbers and limit any potential damage to your suspension system.

Drive responsibly

man driving car

Don’t forget to always drive responsibly and safely. Speeding not only wastes petrol but can also result in a speeding ticket. To avoid any surprise spending, stick to the speed limit, and follow the rules of the road.

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