22 Mart 2011 Salı

Motoring Tips


Our new motoring tips section will cover a wide range of topics that are of interest to all motorists.
We'll be looking at how you can get the best from your car, how you can save money on your running costs and how to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.

Running Costs

With the cost of motoring on a continuous upward spiral, we all need to ensure that we're getting the best value when buying a car, and when buying products and services to keep the car on the road.  We'll be looking at all the factors that contribute to the drain on the motorists pocket and investigating how these costs can be reduced.  
Just some of the many factors we'll be considering are depreciation, insurance, petrol, servicing, repairs, spares, accessories and legal costs.
We'll also take a look at the cost elements that the company motorist is faced with.  Not many years ago, a company car was a definite bonus and yet we still complained about the tax then.  But now the equation is even more complex, resulting in a large number of employees opting out of company car schemes, though usually in return for a cash alternative.

Petrol Costs

Depending on your mileage, and the economy of your car, this is where most of your motoring money is going to go.  With the average motorist covering 12,000 miles per year, if we assume and average fuel consumption of about 30 miles per gallon, that's 400 gallons a year;  which is going to set you back about 1400 per annum.
Even without changing your vehicle, there are basic changes that you can make to your driving that can improve on these figures.  And if you normally have a heavy right foot, then you might be using far more petrol than you need.  Let's say you're getting 20mpg when you could be getting 30mpg - the difference if you drive the average 12,000 miles per year adds up to a whopping 700.
Another obvious way to reduce your petrol costs is to reduce the miles you cover.  You can do this by not using the car for unnecessary journeys and by planning longer journeys using  like the excellent via Michelin.

Car Insurance

Aside from depreciation, insurance is one of the biggest costs you incur as a motorist, so let's start there.

Shop around for Insurance Deals

For starters, you can shop around for the best deal on insurance.  
If you own more than one vehicle, we've found that it's well worth looking at the total cost of the insurance of all the cars in your household, rather than treating each one in isolation.  
Many insurers are now offering great deals on second cars, and if one of the cars is insured in your spouse's name you can often qualify for a discount if you both insure with the same company.  For example, in the UK, we found that Elephant is one insurer that offers such a deal.