Saving money on your car’s maintenance
Cars are notoriously expensive to maintain and the repair bills can be eye-watering. However, with access to a car often essential in order to commute to work, minimising the cost of repairs can be an important part of money saving, and a wealth of technical expertise or knowledge isn’t needed either.
Do basic checks yourself
It is surprising how many vehicle owners neglect to carry out regular simple checks of things such as oil and coolant levels, tyre pressure and the condition of windscreen wipers. Checking and inflating tyres is a task most car owners are perfectly capable of and is something you should do regularly; under-inflated tyres wear more unevenly meaning earlier replacement is likely, while your car will consume more fuel, adding pounds to every journey. Similarly, many owners ignore the warning squeaking and grinding of worn wiper blades and leave their replacement to a professional technician, but it’s easy to change them yourself.
When it comes to choosing a garage for your car’s servicing, the large, franchised dealers are consistently more expensive than local independent businesses who may be able to offer a comparable service for a fraction of the price. Always try to obtain personal recommendations from friends or work colleagues and check that your vehicle’s warranty won’t be invalidated if you opt to have your car serviced at an independent garage.
Consider all tyre options
Similarly, replacement tyres may be cheaper if purchased online or from a mobile fitter. If you don’t travel large distances regularly, you might wish to enquire about mid-range tyres, which are often robust but cheaper than branded equivalents. Some of the major tyre manufacturers supply mid-range tyres under a different brand, so ask the tyre fitter first before automatically opting for the usual expensive make.
Shop around for MOTs and services
Finally, if you’re facing the unenviable double-whammy of an MOT and annual service, shop around for the best price. Garages often offer an MOT at a reduced price if you have your car serviced at the same time. You are, of course, under no obligation to accept the price of repairs; obtaining replacement parts direct from a parts supplier can also knock pounds off the final repair bill.