These 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).