How can you reduce your car’s running costs?

small blue toy car in front of a building and some grass

Motoring can be a very expensive thing. Not only do you have to find the money to buy (or rent) a car in the first place: you’ll also need to deal with ongoing costs.

Road tax, insurance, maintenance and fuel can all add up, particularly if you’re covering great distances. Here’s how to reduce your cars running costs.

How expensive is it to drive?

Data from the ONS reveals that the cost of motoring has been steadily rising over recent years. Over the last ten years, according to the numbers, all motoring costs have risen by around 46% – which maps closely to the Retail Price Index.

The cost of tax and insurance, however, has skyrocketed over the same period, and now sits at around 225%. The Association of British Insurers says that the average British motorist spends around £478 on insurance per year. The cost of fuel is £811, maintenance is £190, and the MOT is £54.85.

Of course, these figures might vary considerably depending on the kind of vehicle you’re driving, and how you’re driving it.

So, how can you reduce your car’s running costs?

There are a few habits you might adopt in order to drive down the cost of motoring.

hands on a car steering wheel moving along


Driving behaviour

For one thing, you might drive less often. If you can walk to work instead of driving, then you might end up saving considerably over the course of a given year – even if the commute is short.

The way that you drive matters, too. Uneccessary acceleration often means unneccessary braking – which ends up wasting fuel, and prematurely wearing out your tyres.


The cost of keeping a car in good condition can be galling. But the alternative is often more expensive. Fail to solve small problems in the engine, for example, and you might see those small problems grow until they’re unignorable.

By taking a proactive approach, you’ll often save money in the long term. Some tasks you can learn to perform yourself. Changing oil, inflating tyres, and replacing the wiper blades will make a difference. But you’ll also want to make a habit of getting your car serviced. Making sure to get a basic car service, conducted annually, can save you money in the long run.

Insurance costs

As we’ve mentioned, the cost of insurance has risen dramatically in recent times. You can work on this by improving your no-claims discount, shopping around, and negotiating with your provider. A half-hour phone call might save you considerably.

Fuel efficiency

By decreasing the amount of weight you’re carrying, you can hugely improve the fuel efficiency of your car. Remove large items from the boot, turn off the air conditioning, and make sure that your tyres are properly inflated. All of these steps will make a difference! This will always help reduce cars running costs.

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