How to spend less money on driving

Image shows woman in dark glasses at wheel of car

The cost of motoring can put a serious strain on household finances, especially during the current era of high inflation, which puts a squeeze on living costs more generally. Anything we can do to reduce the cost of driving, therefore, might be worth considering.

Let’s take a look at some of the more significant costs, and how they might be minimised. And how you can spend less money on driving.

How Expensive Is Driving?

Driving provides us with a means of getting to and from work, transporting our children to school, and enjoying a whole range of activities during our leisure time. The more driving we do, the more expensive all of this becomes – not only in terms of fuel, but because of the wear and tear our vehicles are forced to endure.

Spending data reveals that car owners in the UK spend around £3,800 on keeping their vehicles on the road each year. Fuel accounts for £889 of this, while insurance is just behind on £796.

How can you reduce the costs?

These costs can be driven down in a number of ways.

Driving habits

So-called ‘efficient driving’ can help us to drive down our fuel costs, while reducing our emissions at the same time. The practice basically involves avoiding harsh braking and acceleration, and turning off the engine while the vehicle is stopped.

Walking more and sharing trips

If you can avoid driving altogether, you can reduce the costs considerably. Think about where you need to go, and ask yourself whether you can walk or cycle, instead. Carpooling can also be an effective strategy: see if your workplace is running one, or seek out colleagues taking similar trips, and see if you can arrange one.

These measures won’t just save you money – they can benefit your physical health, and provide you with a new social outlet, too.

lady walking in front of orange wall with big door

Avoiding fines

Violate the laws of the road, and you might find yourself targeted by a sizeable financial penalty. For example, driving without an MOT could see you fined up to £1,000. You can avoid this problem with a little advance planning. Simply book in your MOT near you to avoid fines, and make sure that you’re up to the required standard. Similarly, make sure to drive at the correct speed limits and ensure you park in the correct places and pay accordingly, to avoid penalties for these.

The car itself

Basic maintenance also matters. Make sure that tyres are properly inflated, and that the tread depth is well above the legal minimum. A loss of grip will cause your engine to work unnecessarily, while putting you at greater risk of a collision. Topping up your oil and coolant levels will also help – it’ll make your engine run more efficiently.

You might also book an annual service. This may uncover minor issues, before they have a chance to deteriorate, and cost you more money in the long term.