The Smart Driver’s Guide to Saving Money on Your Car

In today’s climate, where every penny counts, saving money on your car is more important than ever.

In today’s economic climate, finding ways to make your money go further is the norm. And your car is no different. 

Cars are an essential part of modern life for many of us, but they come with a veritable feast of associated costs. Car ownership can eat into your hard-earned funds from fuel to insurance, maintenance, and the inevitable depreciation of its value. 

So, what can you do about it? Well, you can get smarter. 

Becoming a smart driver means more than just knowing how to navigate the roads. It’s about effectively managing these expenses. 

We’ll walk you through several simple but effective strategies to save money on your car.

The Battle of New Vs. Used

Diving in and making a big life purchase like a vehicle will have a massive impact on your finances for many years to come. 

So, how can you offset that expense? This is where the decision to buy new or used is essential. 

Making the Right Choice

When deciding to buy new or opt for used, how do you make the right choice?

Buying New

  • Pros: Comes with the latest technology, safety features, and fuel efficiency advancements. Complete warranty coverage can come as a standard for peace of mind.

  • Cons: Higher upfront cost and rapid value depreciation within the first few years.

Buying Used

  • Pros: More affordable, slower depreciation, and the possibility of finding a high-quality vehicle at a significantly lower price.

  • Cons: Potentially higher maintenance costs and shorter warranty periods.

For many Britons on a tight budget using foodbanks, buying used will always cost less. But the possibility of dodgy deals and high maintenance costs means you need to go into it with open eyes. 

Financing Your New Car

If you opt for new, there are a few great options to help spread the cost and make it more affordable. 

We’re talking about loans, leasing, and financing. 

Car Loans

A car loan means you’ll own the vehicle outright once it’s paid off. Shop around for the best interest rates and terms to fit your budget is best.


Leasing can mean lower monthly payments and the flexibility to change cars, but it means you won’t actually own the vehicle.


Financing is another monthly payment option, but this time, it’s with a view to eventually owning the car. 

Understanding Your Car's Fuel Efficiency

How efficient your car is with fuel will dictate how much it costs you long term. 

So, for anyone trying to save a penny or two, understanding and hacking your car’s fuel efficiency can go a long way to help.

First, let’s get a handle on the basics.

The Basics of Fuel Efficiency

Basically, fuel efficiency measures how well a vehicle converts the energy within its fuel to movement. 

Cars with higher fuel efficiency consume less petrol or diesel per mile travelled, reducing the negative impacts on your wallet. 

Enhance Your Fuel Efficiency

Knowing what efficiency is, how can you make fuel go further?

Well, some simple changes to your driving habits can really significantly affect your fuel consumption. 

Accelerating gently, maintaining a steady speed, and using the highest appropriate gear can reduce your engine’s workload and, subsequently, its thirst for fuel. Regular maintenance, like checking tyre pressures and changing the oil, can improve your car’s fuel efficiency.

Smart Strategies for Saving on Car Insurance

Car insurance premiums can cost a bomb. 

And with them rising each year, learning how to get the best deal possible will help you save a pretty penny. 

Choosing the Right Policy

In the maze of car insurance options, using comparison websites can make sense of the nonsensical. 

Your age, driving history, and car will dictate how much you spend. But there are things you can do to reduce costs. Particularly for young drivers or those with less experience, telematics policies, which monitor your driving habits, can be a cost-effective option. These policies basically reward safe driving with lower premiums.

Reducing Premiums

You can do other things to reduce your insurance premiums even more. 

Opting for a higher voluntary excess, ensuring your car’s security, and accumulating no-claims discounts contribute to lower costs. And taking an advanced driving course like Pass Plus not only makes you a safer driver but can also make you more attractive to insurers.

The Art of Vehicle Maintenance on a Budget

Buying the car is one of many costs you’ll pay. 

To keep the vehicle safe and up to scratch, you’ll need to complete regular maintenance. But car upkeep isn’t cheap.

DIY Your Car Maintenance 

Learning to perform basic upkeep tasks can save you pretty substantial amounts over the life of your car. 

Changing air filters, replacing wiper blades, and regular oil checks can be done at home with few tools and even less expertise. These simple efforts keep your car running smoothly and even prevent costly repairs.

When to Get Professional Help

While DIY can save money, there are times when professional help is the order of the day. 

For complex issues or anything you’re not sure about, a trusted mechanic is well worth the investment. Regular professional check-ups can prevent minor problems from becoming major expenses.

Making the Most of Public Transport

Sure, your car can get you from A to B, but so can public transport. 

There’s a time and a place when hopping on the local bus is the right option. And this little life hack can save you money. 

When to Drive and When to Ride

Not every journey necessitates driving. 

Public transport is a more economical choice for city dwellers when taking fuel, parking, and congestion charges into account. Take stock of the costs and benefits of each option for different journeys to decide whether a quick train ride is better than the car. 

Making the Most of Commuting 

Commuting comes with some nifty options that help regular users save money. 

Carpooling, using season tickets, or even integrating walking or cycling for shorter distances can massively reduce your annual costs. These options not only save money but are also greener, contributing to reducing your environmental impact.

The Cost of Cars

Owning and running a vehicle will put a strain on your finances. But not all hope is lost!

Adopting a more strategic approach to car ownership will save some of your hard-earned cash for more important ventures. Remember, every little saving adds up. So, even if you can’t do a lot right now, it will make a difference in the long term. 

How do you save money on your expenses? For more help navigating the murky waters of car ownership, get in touch with the friendly Clockwise team.

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