Top tips to save money on your car

As we head towards the end of the year after a tough economic time for South Africa, most of us are looking for ways to save money. We’ve rounded up a few tips on how to cut your budget when it comes to your car and vehicle maintenance.

Owning a car is hugely convenient, but it can also be very expensive. You have the initial investment of the car to contend with, the car insurance and road tolls, and then the running fees such as petrol, servicing and general maintenance that all eat into your monthly budget. Thankfully, however, there are many ways you can save money when it comes to running a car:

Don’t try to avoid maintenance to save money, rather be smart in your approach to vehicle maintenance. Follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations around maintenance and services. With a Service Plan or Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy, not only will you rest assured knowing you’re getting excellent value for money, but the easy monthly payments will allow for better budgeting.

A Service Plan pays for specified aspects of the recommended services of your car by an approved facility for a specific term or kilometres travelled, whichever comes first. Filters, spark plugs and lubricants are normally covered by MotorHappy’s Service Plan product partners. A Maintenance Plan pays for everything included in the Service Plan, plus the replacement, maintenance or repair of specific wear-and-tear parts, when necessary.

Select good value mechanics with a solid reputation to carry out work on your car, preferably a workshop that is a member of the Retail Motor Industry organisation. All members follow strict guidelines that promote ethical work, transparency, loyalty, and fair pricing. Their work will be trustworthy and will keep your car in the best health for as long as possible, which ultimately saves you money in the long run.

Your driving style has a massive influence on how much fuel your car uses. Petrol is not a cheap commodity, so even saving just 10% will add up massively as the months go by.

Keep in the highest gear possible without labouring your engine – you’ll want to aim to be in top gear as soon as it is safely possible. Additionally, be proactive rather than reactive with your driving. If you see a red light in the distance, lift off the petrol and coast to it; you may not need to brake at all! Don’t speed too much on highways, either, as the fuel consumption difference between 120km/h and 130km/h is surprisingly large.

Car insurance is something of a grudge purchase – it’s not glamourous and it’s not even a physical thing you can see or hold, so it tends to be something we hate buying. You may be tempted, therefore, to visit whatever insurance company first pops into your head and get the ordeal over and done with as soon as possible.

It’s worth taking the time to shop around, though, as it can save you serious amounts of money. MotorHappy’s insurance gurus are available to help find the best insurance for your needs and your budget. Contact us for a quick online quote. Once we have more information about your requirements, we will provide quotes from multiple providers, allowing you to see which is giving the best deal. 

If you’re travelling to the same destination with multiple people, make use of available seats and consider carpooling! You’ll be able to split the cost of any fuel used between whoever is travelling, which drastically reduces the cost of a long-distance journey.

Additionally, any car that doesn’t get used is a car that isn’t wearing its oil, tyres, breaks etc. out as quickly as it otherwise could. Journey costs go beyond just the fuel, so if you can group where possible, it’s a shockingly easy way to save money.

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