The cost of living is a worry for many people across the country. Prices of everyday essentials are continuing to increase and the squeeze that this is having on many families is hitting crisis point. Interest rates, energy prices and fuel prices have also seen astronomical increases and are causing a greater burden on peoples finances.
There are many ways to reduce the cost of household bills. Turning off appliances, washing at a lower temperature or even simply wearing another jumper are just some of the many ways we can save money at home, but can you save money and reduce any unexpected costs of keeping your car on the road? Read on to find out how some simple checks and driving hacks could save or free up some much needed cash this winter.
Check Your Vehicles Cover
There are two main pieces of cover you should have if you are driving your vehicle. The first is insurance, which is a legal requirement, and the second, breakdown cover, which is not a legal requirement. Breakdown cover does give you that peace of mind whilst driving and can prevent any hefty call out charges, if in the unfortunate event that your car does break down.
It is important that with both types of cover, that you are paying the right amount for the service that you require.
Insurance Cover - Are you now working from home? Has your annual mileage now changed? Though it might not make a huge difference, if you are ready to renew your insurance, make sure your calculations are accurate.
Breakdown Cover - Make sure you have breakdown cover, as it could save you money if you were to break down. A monthly cost can seem much more manageable than a large outlay, but you would end up paying more than if you paid for it annually. Also make sure your car has the correct cover, is home start included? Many packages and plans are only activated once you are more than 1 mile from your home. Also have a plan of where you want to have your car recovered to, so that you do not have to pay an additional fee for towing the car to the garage.
Check Your Vehicles Health Before Travel
One of the market leading breakdown and recovery specialists recommend that you regularly check your FORCES. This is a simple way to remember each of the things that you need to check during winter so that your car stays healthy and on the road for winter without any unnecessary or unexpected costs that could be avoided or mitigated.
Fuel - Make sure that you have enough fuel for your journey. If the weather is particularly bad, it may mean that you need to find alternative longer routes to your destination, which could mean that your journey exceeds the amount of fuel in your tank. If you are running low, do not risk it, fill up at the next available petrol station.
Oil - Check that your oil level is between the maximum and minimum. Make sure that you check this when your engine is cold.
Rubber - Road conditions are massively affected during the winter. Surface water, potholes and ice are just some of the issues that can cause problems during winter. Checking the tread and wear of your tyres could help minimise the effects the road conditions have on your journey. Most petrol stations have tyre pressure machines that are simple to use. Tyres in a deflated state, or poor condition could result in tyre failure and potentially cause damage to your car or even cause you to crash. Don't forget to check your wiper blades too, dirt and salt spray build up could cause you to crash or receive a fine from the police.
Coolant - Many coolants contain anti-freeze, which helps prevent your engine from becoming unresponsive during cold temperatures. Make sure your car is topped up sufficiently.
Electrics - Make sure all your lights are working, they not only allow you to be able to see, but allow others to be able to see you when it is dark or during foggy conditions and will hopefully prevent any form of accident.
One of the most common reasons for winter breakdowns is due to battery failure. There are a few ways you can prevent battery failure and mitigate the need for a new battery, or having to call your breakdown recovery company. Check the health of your battery, most local and national garages offer this service free of charge. Make sure that all lights and any other parasitic drains on the battery are turned off when leaving the vehicle. If you do indeed require a new battery, make sure that you find the correct battery for your vehicle, otherwise you could find your have further battery related costs.
Screen Wash - Make sure you are able to clean your windscreen, on long journeys if there has been a significant amount of salt spread on the roads, it could cause the windscreen to become completely covered and potentially cause and accident. This would not only disrupt your journey, but increase your insurance premiums and could leave you without a car.
Other Money Saving Driving Tips
We mentioned earlier in this blog about making sure that you had enough fuel for your journey, which is very important. However, have you ever considered that you might have too much fuel in your tank? Many people when they hit the red will fill up their tank to the top, but if you are not going to be using your car, you could fill up half your tank and use the money for another bill or outgoing. So whilst it is not directly saving you money, it is certainly a good way of managing your money.
Your driving style and habits could also see you spend more money in the long run too. Do you regularly take trips to the same shops or shops in a similar vicinity? Could you combine these trips within your commute or school run? This will reduce the amount of fuel you are using and reduce the wear and tear on your car and on your battery.
How Spending A Little Could Save You Money In The Long Term
Though it might seem a little crazy, but actually spending money can help your car to run more efficiently and prevent costly breakdowns and call out charges. See below some of our products that could help you save money and improve the efficiency and reliability of your car.
Boosters - A Noco Booster is a mobile starting aid that helps to start your engine, reducing the load on your battery.
Battery Chargers - If your vehicle is sat for long periods of time, or you do very short journeys, a battery charger could be the solution for you. You can put your battery on charge and replace the lost charge that your car was unable to replenish as your alternator had not begun to recharge your battery.
Liqui Moly - We stock a huge range of Liqui Moly products from additives to lubricants, these accessories will help to improve the quality and efficiency of your vehicle and will minimise the chances of your car or vehicle breaking down.
Our top 5 best selling Liqui Moly products are:
If you have any additional ways to save money this winter, please share them in the comments section below.
Check out our related blogs: