Monday, 15 July 2013 8:36 AM
As well as being a favourite possession, cars are also a large expense. Fuel, insurance, servicing – it all adds up, especially when things go wrong. In this guide, we’ll be looking at ways for you to keep your motor running smoothly for less.
Whether your car is your hobby and you’re a real whizz with maintenance or you love the look and feel of the vehicle but don’t know much about what goes on under the hood, you’ll need to take out some basic policies to keep your car in good condition. Of course, things like MOTs, cover and regular servicing can prove expensive – but there are ways to save.
For instance, if you are a member of an organisation like Prospect union, you could receive a sizeable discount on things like motor legal expenses and insurance packages through a motoring club. So, it is always a good idea to look at what your employer and/or union offers you.
Motor legal expenses
No matter how careful a driver you are, it’s impossible to guarantee you won’t be involved in an accident – and sometimes your insurance won’t automatically cover the whole cost. It’s in cases like this that motor legal expenses become important.
Companies like LV= Frizzell offer this kind of financial protection. Through a motoring club, you could get up to £100,000 worth of cover as part of your membership, which will help with expenses like loss of earnings, car hire costs and compensation for injury. It can also help defend you against claims made against you, such as allegations of dangerous driving. Professional injury claims solicitors can help you if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Car insurance is vital – but expensive. The key is to be clever both in terms of finding deals and in making sure that your motor costs as little as possible to insure. One of the simplest options is, again, seeking out discounts through a union or motoring association. By doing so, you can save up to ten per cent on the quoted price.
You should also take care to choose a policy that suits your individual car. For instance, if you are really proud of your car stereo, make sure it’s covered by your policy.
In terms of lowering the cost of your insurance, there are a few ways you can help yourself out, such as by installing Thatcham-approved security devices. Parking in a safe place can also have an impact, while opting to pay annually rather than monthly can see you spending less overall.
Of course, no one can prevent accidents from happening, and if you want to protect yourself financially it’s worth considering taking out guaranteed asset protection – or gap insurance. This means that if your car is written off, the difference between your motor’s value at the time you took out the policy and how much you receive from the insurance will be made up – something that can prove extremely useful when selecting your new vehicle!
MOT and car servicing
Many motorists dread MOTs and servicing, simply because while they are essential, they are potentially very costly. If you can, take advantage of any discounted or free services you can get your hands on. For instance, through a members club you could get a free 15-point check.
If your car is three years old or over, you’ll need to get an annual MOT, which checks that your vehicle is road-safe and that it meets environmental standards. You’ll also need regular services (the exact timing will depend on things like the car’s model and mileage). Don’t be tempted to skimp on these – often they can pick up problems early before they develop into more serious (and costly) issues.