screening carThese are difficult times, particularly for anyone working in the automotive industry.  All motorsport has been cancelled, factories and dealerships are closed, and all but a few motor-related businesses are struggling financially in the wake of the virus outbreak measures.  Individual motorists are also suffering and looking for any way possible that they can save money.  I have plenty of general tips for money-saving motoring on this blog, but here are a few cost saving ideas specifically for our turbulent times:

  • If you are a key worker look out for special offers, for example a local garage near me is offering free vehicle health checks for NHS workers. 
  • Some insurance companies (including Admiral) are offering token rebates (of £25) to their customers whilst they are not using vehicles.  But if you have no plans to use your vehicle for a while, you might want to consider cancelling your insurance all together.  Be sure you understand the implications (discuss these  with your insurer) before you do so.
  • If you have a car on a lease or PCP and are struggling to make payments – contact your lease/finance company.  Some of them are offering payment holidays.
  • You might want to fill up with fuel, as prices at the pump are low at the moment.  Shop around online before you leave the house and see which place local to you is cheapest.  You won’t need to make an unnecessary trip if your fuel station is next to your supermarket!
  • If you have spare time on your hands, you could usefully use it to check your tyre pressures, remove things from the boot (like those golf clubs you aren’t using) and take off the roof-rack.  All of these things, and more, have a big impact on your fuel efficiency and you can save up to 25% on fuel putting these things right.  Read more on my blog on fuel saving
  • Whilst you are cleaning your car, it is a good time to make a note of any minor damage that it might be worth fixing.  Not all damage is worth fixing – use my checker to see if it is financially worthwhile.
  • If you are buying a car, second hand car prices have plummeted, so you could pick up a deal.  It’s worth bearing in mind however, that people have been stopped and fined for making an “unnecessary journey” to buy a car.  Some car auctions houses and dealers may offer a delivery service, so it’s worth checking.  You could have a look at what is available locally to you – you never know what might be around the corner.
  • If you are not going to use your car and have a driveway or space to park that is not on a public highway, you could consider un-taxing your car.  This is called a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notice). You will need to contact the DVLA and have your V5c ownership document to hand.  The DVLA only un-tax a car by complete month, so it is probably only worthwhile if you are absolutely sure you won’t be driving it for the whole (calendar) month.  Don’t forget to re-tax it when you want to drive it again.  It sounds like a faff – but we estimate we will save £64, for what has taken up about 5 minutes work – that’s a pretty good hourly rate! 

Remember,  if you are not using your vehicle, it’s a good idea to start it every week, just to check the battery hasn’t drained.  And ultimately the best way to save money during these difficult times, is to heed government advice and only go out in your car when absolutely necessary.

Stay safe and well everyone.  I hope this helps (a bit).


Is it REALLY worth having that scratch on my car fixed?


woman with carI wrote the article below early in the year and it has received a great response, so I thought that it would be a good idea to share it here again!

Is it REALLY worth having that scratch on my car fixed?

The answer depends on your circumstances. I always like to give an honest answer when customers pose this question, so here are a few scenarios to help you decide.

You should get the scratch fixed if you use your car for business. Many commercial fleet managers take great care in ensuring staff vehicles look their best. Although I don’t, people WILL judge your professional (and sometimes personal) standards by the state of your vehicle. It’s part of your brand. A well known courier company uses ChipsAway – they understand that delivering parcels in a scraped van gives the impression they are careless.

You should prioritise broken paintwork on metal – which is generally anywhere except your front and rear bumpers (which are usually plastic). Left untouched, the weather and salty roads can cause rust to set in to damaged steel panels. Once corrosion has taken hold, it is costly and specialist to repair. I don’t work on corroded damage – as although the repair might look perfect at first, within months the rust comes back. It generally needs to be cut or ground out. In worst case scenarios it can lead to MOT failures.

If you are returning a car at the end of it’s lease, it is worth getting estimates for any body work repairs – including alloy wheels scratches. At the same time, you might ask your lease company for a “Schedule of Charges” to check whether their charges are more than the cost of a repair. They often are (although alloy wheels vary the most) – so it is worth booking in a repair if the lease company would charge you more not to.

You should definitely think carefully about getting any damage fixed if you are selling your car. You might not get the value of the repair back in the asking price, but if someone has a choice between buying a car without damage and one with, I know which one I’d chose. A scuffed car might also give the impression that it has been mechanically neglected too – even if that’s not true. However, bear in mind that a simple bumper scratch repair from us starts at £165 + VAT. If you are selling your car for less than £1000, it probably won’t make a difference.

If the damage is ruining your enjoyment you might want to consider a repair. Many of our customers love their cars, and even the smallest dent causes them distress. It’s amazing how many people reverse into their own gateposts in their brand new pride and joy car. Having spent thousands on their cherished asset, many of our customers feel a few hundred more to put right a small mistake usually worth it.

If someone else has caused the damage, and offers to pay, you should accept. Some people chose not to, as they mistakenly think it involves a lot of hassle. We can collect the car from your house, leaving a courtesy car with you, and in most instances, return it to you the same day, fixed. The inconvenience is minimal. Nearly all of our work comes in under most people’s insurance thresholds – so there is no need for lengthy negotiation with an insurance company. Furthermore, you can also usually get other damage fixed at the same time, at a discount.

When not to get the work done? 

  • Don’t book in a repair if you car is about to go for an MOT and you suspect it has problems. There is no point in a great looking car, if you can’t drive it anywhere!
  • Don’t book a repair if you can’t afford it – unless it will cost you more not to (e.g. a lease return). If money is tight, make sure you are getting value for money from your repairer – ask if there is a life-time guarantee with the work (like we offer). Our prices are pretty set, but you can always ask if there are any special offers or for payment terms.
  • Most people wouldn’t fix damage if the repair costs more than the car is worth, but that said, we have a few customers who love their mechanically sound cars so much, and have grown attached to them, so they feel it is worth it.

Hopefully I have covered most scenarios – but if I haven’t feel free to get in touch. Both me and my husband, Jim offer free guidance and estimates – we are always happy to advise you. Call us on 07535521198.


Marketing a ‘Greener Product’ – Engine Mapping

co2 car cartoonIn June this year our team at Miles Better Motoring Ltd established a basic survey looking at vehicle usage and awareness of how engine mapping can help motorists be ‘greener’.  So far we have had 60 responses. If you haven’t already completed the questionnaire a link is here: Once we reach 250 replies, if you have left your details with us, you might be in with a chance of winning £100 in the draw.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some initial findings and interim conclusions from the research – which has been quite an eye opener.

Of the 60 who answered the questions, half were interviewed in person and were attending ‘green’ events, or had expressed concern over climate change and/or taking climate action.

The other half responded digitally online, distributed via social media and local networks, so we are unsure whether they had any interest in environmental issues at all, but it is assumed that at least some of them would have been.  The survey showed:

  • Over half of those questioned drove a diesel vehicle
  • Only 3 of the 60 drove electric or hybrid vehicles
  • Over half didn’t know what engine mapping was, however, one third said they did know that engine mapping can help lower carbon emissions.  
  • Despite this knowledge close to 90% of people who answered said they had never considered having their engines mapped.

As an organisation established to help motorists and businesses save money and be better for the environment, this poses a real challenge for us. Every 3,500 miles driven in a medium-sized diesel car creates a tonne of C02.  If those people who a) share a concern that diesel vehicles contribute to emissions and b) know that engine mapping can help, yet still aren’t considering reducing the damage their own vehicles are doing, it makes being able to market engine mapping on an environmental basis problematic.

Currently, our conclusion is that the financial benefits of diesel engine mapping might be a better avenue to explore in our marketing – we already have a thread of our strategy which focuses on this, especially for businesses.  Any environmental ambitions we have as an organisation, can therefore still be fulfilled as an ‘additional motivator’ for customers seeking to reduce fuel costs, but not as a leading incentive. Furthermore, as engine mapping is so rarely understood, we first need to build relationships with individual customers to help them understand the process involved, and using our other services (such as eco-valeting).  As such the landing page of our website at has been amended to reflect this, and a leaflet producing explaining exactly what engine mapping is. (See

Once we have reached 250 responses to the questionnaire we will revisit the conclusions and share them again more widely.  In the meantime would welcome any feedback for further encouraging ‘green’ customers to understand and consider engine mapping as a way to reduce diesel emissions.

Answer three questions and potentially win £100

Dog-Money1_2634143bCan you help me with some market research and be in with a chance of winning £100 for answering three questions? If so, read on.

This is not a test, there are no right or wrong answers. Answer three simple questions (without researching) and be in with a chance of winning £100. Once we have 250 responses, I will draw a name from a hat and pay the winner. You have a one in 250 chance of winning. So please share this post too, so we reach 250 quicker! Please email answering the following:

1. WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLE DO YOU DRIVE? (say all that apply) – Diesel, Hybrid, Petrol, Electric, Van, Car, Camper, Motorbike, Motorhome, No vehicle, Truck, Lease vehicle, Bicycle, Company vehicle, Other (please say)


  • I don’t know what engine mapping is
  • I have no idea how it might help business
  • It could help lower carbon emissions
  • It could help businesses save money
  • It wouldn’t help businesses



Please include your name in the email. You will be notified if you win. We will also announce winners on this web and on social media @MilesBetterMotoring

Thank you!


Vehicle Tracking – Inspiring Employees to Help Cut Costs


I recently met with a company that fits tracking devices to business vehicles and was intrigued to learn how beneficial it can be for both the tracker and the trackee.  I thought I would share some insights below.


Some take a dim view of their company vehicle being ‘tracked’ by their employer and it is important to be aware of the rights of the employees and your obligations in terms of data protection, privacy and vehicle tracking laws (See  In short, it’s completely legal for a business to track its vehicles, but this must be for business management purposes only. 


The benefits to a vehicle tracking programme can be great.  Some companies choose to send their drivers on advanced driving courses and/or offer additional driving education courses and qualifications.  This can help lower an employee’s personal insurance. A better informed workforce can be inspired to be competitive with their driving – in a positive way.  A good tracking programme monitors fuel efficiency and smooth driving that avoids excessive acceleration, as well as speed-limit compliance. Employees can benefit from incentives and cash bonuses for better driving.   It is also better for an employee’s health and safety – if they are stuck with their vehicle due to ill health, weather or an accident, a fleet manager can pin-point exactly where they are.


GPS_Car_TrackerIt is thought that businesses using vehicle tracking can achieve a saving of up to 25% in fuel as a result of improved driver behaviour.  Fuel can also be saved through better route management and insurance companies often offer discounts for tracked vehicles. Some of the savings made can be used to reward the best performing company drivers in monthly bonuses – so everyone’s a winner.


  • Tracking signage on a vehicle can deter thieves
  • Better driving will reduce your emissions – so it’s better for the environment too
  • For deliveries, you can provide clients with more accurate ETAs
  • You can locate exactly where your vehicle is at any time – meaning fewer calls to drivers
  • Vehicles can be recovered quickly if necessary
  • There is a reduction in administration and paperwork – digital records mean no more log books.

We can facilitate vehicle tracking via our working partners – please drop me a line if you are interested in this, or any other aspect of money-saving motoring.



Fuel-Saving Motoring – Nine Point Plan


There are many ways to save money as a motorist – by buying and selling wisely, with good maintenance and management – but one of the most effective ways to save money is my saving fuel.  Below is my nine point plan to cutting down the amount of fuel you use.

  1. BUY A VEHICLE BASED ON FUEL ECONOMY.  But be careful – not all manufacturers use realistic driving conditions as a measure.  Study the Which? guide to understanding genuine miles per gallon.
  2. REMAPPING DIESEL ENGINES. Please see my recent post about saving up to 15% on fuel for diesel vehicles with a simple vehicle remap.
  3. BE AERODYNAMIC. When vehicles are tested for their fuel consumption in the factory, every gap and bump is taped up to give good results.  To improve the fuel economy on your vehicle remove roof bars and keep your windows closed.  A roof box can add up to 20% spent on fuel, and many are left on vehicles for months when they are not in use.
  4. LOOSE WEIGHT. Resist the urge to use your vehicle as storage.  Driving around with a full heavy boot or a van full of equipment not regularly used will cost you more in fuel.
  5. MANAGE YOUR TANK.  Each litre of fuel weighs around 720gms, meaning the average UK tank (65L) if filled, makes the vehicle weigh an extra 46.8kg.  If you half that, your car will handle better and be cheaper to run.  I do not advocate running the vehicle regularly close to empty – as you could get debris stuck in your fuel pump – costing you more in repairs.
  6. GOOD TYRES.  Well maintained tyres are essential for safe driving and the RAC says that inflated tyres can improve fuel consumption by up to 2%.  Check tyre pressures regularly, especially before a motorway journey.
  7. DRIVE A MANUAL.  Automatics use 10% to 15% more fuel than manuals (source: the AA).  However on motorway driving, there is little difference. Read the AA guide to pros and cons of Manual vs Automatic vehicles.
  8. SLOW DOWN.  Many businesses put a limiter on their vehicles – not just to slow staff down, but to save money.  Companies that install limiters claim a 25% saving on fuel, but if you are managing your own driving, try not to exceed 3000 revs and avoid heavy acceleration and braking where possible.
  9. AIR CONDITIONING.  Your fuel consumption will increase as soon as you switch it on.  If you can live with the fan, or just being a bit warmer, you will save money.


Money-Saving Motoring – Remapping

190308-camb-010WELCOME to my new blog.  On this site, I plan to explore the wealth of ways that motorists can cut down the cost of driving.  It is hoped that each Money-Saving Motoring blog posts, and the planned same-titled book, will be a useful tool for individuals, but also for those responsible for managing business fleets and for accountants and Financial Directors who’s job it is to advise their clients on good cost-savings.

WHAT WILL BE COVERED. I plan to explore a wide range of financial issues facing motoring, including buying vs leasing, selling and sharing vehicles, simple vehicle health checks, and clever hints and tips.  I won’t shy away from picking apart the diesel/petrol/electric/hybrid arguments and will also look at bio diesel and hydrogen options.  I am very open to ideas and feedback – so please feel free to comment or drop me a line.

First, I am going to start with what I know best: the diesel eco-remap.

190308-camb-014REMAPPING offers a quick and easy way for those that run diesel vehicles to gain up to 15% savings on fuel.  I recently spoke to a business who spends £1000 per month on fuel, per vehicle.  They had a modest fleet of five diesel cars – diesel vehicles are still preferred by companies doing a high amount of business mileage: they last longer, and are cheaper to run despite the ever increasing taxes.  If all five cars were remapped, it would provide a saving of £750 per month, meaning the cost of the remap would be recovered in a matter of weeks.  As an added bonus, emissions would be lowered too.

There are a handful of tuning companies offering remaps for cars, but ours – Miles Better – is one of the few to focus on lowering costs and emissions.  The technology we use (VIEZU) has been tried and tested on 24,000 BT vehicles, so we know it works.  If you want to know more have a look at the website or drop me a line.

SAY HELLO. If you have any ideas for future blog posts, I would love to hear from you.  Comment on this post or drop me a line.  I have been invited to speak at London Motor Show this week (on Friday 17th May) – if you are reading this in time, come and say hello.  I’ll be on the Live Stage around 3pm.