Reduce the Running Cost of your Car

Follow these simple tips

  • by onRoute
  • Nov 2, 2015
  • 891
  • News
Relieving financial strain

As consumers struggle with high food prices, electricity costs and other household living expenses, finding ways to reduce the running costs of you motor vehicle can go a long way in relieving financial strain.

According to Nicholas Nkosi, Head of Vehicle and Asset Finance – Retail Banking at Standard Bank, two factors currently make-up the bulk of total vehicle ownership costs: fuel and keeping the car on the road! When these two costs are added up, they can easily match or even exceed a new vehicle’s monthly instalment payments.

“Running costs are mainly broken down into maintenance, insurance, and other costs such as fuel, annual license fees, e-tolls, traffic fines and car tracker fees etc. With a proper and realistic plan in place, these costs can be managed easily.” Mr Nkosi suggests that consumers follow these simple tips to manage their car running costs:

As consumers struggle with high food prices, electricity costs and other household living expenses, finding ways to reduce the running costs of you motor vehicle can go a long way in relieving financial strain.

Fuel

“While there is little that consumers can do about the rising price of fuel, there are a few tips that can help them to make their fuel tanks go the extra mile,” says Jill Koopman, Brand and C-Store Alliance Manager at Caltex South Africa. 

  • Try to avoid driving during peak hours - the constant starting, stopping and idling hurts fuel economy.
  • Join a lift club - travelling with friends or family that work close by can save you money.
  • Opting for a smaller fuel-efficient car can make a big difference if you can’t avoid driving during peak hours.
  • Turning off the air conditioner when it’s not hot can also decrease your fuel bill.
  • Avoid quick acceleration when you take-off - doing this can help you to improve fuel economy.
  • Slowing down - decreasing your highway driving speeds can significantly reduce fuel consumption.
  • Empty your boot - all that extra weight requires extra power and extra fuel from your engine.
  • Ensuring that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure can help to maintain fuel economy.

Maintenance

Servicing your car regularly, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, helps to avoid unexpected repair costs. Also, make sure that your tyres are in good condition. While getting new tyres is often viewed as a grudge purchase, tyres are very important for your safety and ensure the roadworthiness of your vehicle. 

Insurance

Understanding your insurance policy will go a long way to helping manage your car’s running costs. If you aren’t properly insured and become involved in an accident - it could place a huge financial burden on you. Also, make sure that the policy includes roadside assistance and car hire – these can be costly if you have to pay for them out of your pocket. At the same time, you should only get the cover that you need and avoid additional extras you can do without.

Car instalment repayments – opting for a fixed rate

Fixing your instalment rate guarantees that you will pay the same amount for the duration of your contract. Mr Nkosi says this option can be quite useful in helping to manage your car’s running costs given that the economy is volatile and interest rates could increase unexpectedly. “While this option may be a bit more expensive, at least it gives you peace of mind – by eliminating the risk of your car instalment payments increasing unexpectedly,” Mr Nkosi adds.

Lastly, try to save for ad hoc costs such as annual license fees and e-tolls. These costs can make a huge dent in your monthly budget if you aren’t well prepared for them.

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