Reining in costs during car ownership

There are many tricks and tips around that can help you save money when buying a car, but as modern technology advances, there is more to do than just look for the best deal from you local dealership.

Today’s motoring is all about maximising your miles per gallon and bringing down your emissions levels; therefore, having a much more longer term strategy when it comes to buying a car is essential. Purchasing an older car just because it is a third of the price of a new car doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save money over time.

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Engine Technology

The European Union is currently clamping down on the amount of emissions cars give out in their exhaust fumes, with such an act having positive results on what money savings modern vehicles can offer motorists.

As emission levels drop from the modern car our vehicle tax drops; so where a 10-year-old Vauxhall Astra would currently cost you over £150 to tax for the year, the most up to date version can cost you close to nothing if you get the right variant.

To take advantage of such low tax costs when looking for a new car, keep an eye out for the likes of Fiat’s TwinAir-engined models, Volkswagen’s Bluemotion offerings or Ford’s EcoBoost line. All of which offer highly efficient engines by having three or even two cylinders compared to the conventional four and so have lower operating demands. Cars with Stop/Start also make good investments.

The second advantage to such demands coming in from the EU is that such efficient engines also reward motorists with high levels of fuel economy. Petrol-engined cars can now rival some diesels in terms of the amount of miles per gallon they can achieve, with some easily returning 50+mpg. Diesels themselves have also advanced in the same manner and 70mpg is now pretty much the norm when it comes to a modern oil burner. As a result, make a note of such figures and how they might save you money in the long-term.

 

Financing the car

As you may know, there are several ways in which to finance a new car and it can be a tough job researching such options; with dealerships, companies, banks and the like all differing in regards to interest rates, I won’t go into much detail when it comes to who is the best to go with, but here are a couple of tips in how to approach buying if going down the finance route.

The point I would like to stress most is to have as big a deposit as you can afford, that way your monthly payments will be considerably lower to those if your initial payment is less than substantial. PCP (Personal Contrat Payment) deals can also be worthwhile if you don’t plan on owning the car in the future, as these often have low monthly payments to start with.

A growing issue is people looking to get car finance with have bad credit. It is too commonly believed that it impossible in obtaining finance for a new or used car. However, there are companies out there who specialise in bad credit car finance such as Clearway CF and so can offer realistic deals where even those with troubled finance histories can still afford a vehicle. It is generally better to go to such companies as non-specialists tend not to be so accepting or will place a higher interest rate on top of the base price of the vehicle.

Driving tips

Following the purchase of a car, there are still things that can be done in order to rein in the cost of vehicle ownership, with some of the most important below:

  • Carry as little weight in the car as possible; less weight means the car uses less fuel during acceleration.
  • Be easy on the gas and brake pedals; use them smoothly with as little harshness as possible, as consistent driving is rewarded by higher fuel efficiency.
  • Vehicle tax can now be paid on a direct debit basis, so instead of forking out the full amount in one go, spread it out over the year – especially if you’re tax is high.
  • Shop around for fuel and keep an eye on any special offers, such as Tesco’s money-off with Clubcard points.
  • Do the same for car insurance and look out for companies who do discounted multi-car deals.

 

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