Get the best car running costs through some savvy research.

How to Save Money On Car Running Costs


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Spring has finally sprung. The days are longer and temperatures warmer as summer approaches. Car running costs aren’t the first thing that comes to mind…

However, with 2020 being the longest year on record due to coronavirus (am I right?), there’s something a little different about this spring. Many of us have tightened our purse strings. Some of us a little. Some of us a lot.

That got us thinking. How we can help … other than offering the very best in car insurance?

After all, our cars eat up a lot of our money. It seems a logical place to start.

And so, after a thinking coffee (it’s a thing), we began to scour the internet for some fuel saving tips and the best ways to cut car running costs.

Choose the right car

You should buy a car to suit your needs.

If you spend most of your life whizzing around the city, do you really need a great, big petrol guzzling SUV?

Or if you like ‘going bush’ most weekends, is it fair to make your zippy little hatchback haul you up and down hills every few weeks?

Before buying a car, ask yourself what kind of driver you are and what type of driving you do the most. Choosing the right car may reduce your overall repair, maintenance and fuel costs.

Fuel saving tips

We’re not gonna lie.

There’s loads of articles written on how to save money on fuel, even when you’re buying a new car.

We think a great place to start is by downloading a fuel app to find cheap fuel in your area. Scroll down to our App Alert section for links.

A few ways to reduce fuel costs:

  • Don’t take off like a rocket and don’t slam on the brakes – keep it smooth
  • Avoid idling. If you’re held up, switch off the engine
  • Use heating and air con wisely, or rarely (if at all)
  • For our manual driving people, use the right gears
  • Regularly check your tyre pressure
  • Don’t load up the car if you don’t have to – more weight means less fuel efficiency

Stay on top of car maintenance

There’s many reasons to keep your car in good nick including safety, reliability and performance. It can also save you money.

While you may never be 100% prepared, a blown tyre can put an unexpected dent in finances. Keeping your car in good shape with regular servicing and undertaking small maintenance tasks yourself like checking the oil can keep costs manageable.

Watch out for local mechanics who have regular servicing deals. If you’re one of the 50% of females we asked who worried about taking their car to a mechanic, why not ask family or friends for recommendations? And read this article on how to avoid being ripped off.

save on car running costs with some savvy research.

Get car finance savvy

With so many available options, it pays to shop around for car finance. And who doesn’t love to shop?

*crickets chirping at PD Insurance HQ*

Just like choosing the right car, choosing the right car finance can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your car loan.

The AAA’s (Australian Automobile Association) most recent quarterly Affordability Index report cites loan repayments ahead of all other household transport costs, including fuel, in both metro and regional areas.

No matter where you live in Australia, doing your research before taking out a car loan may save you money. Paying it off quickly will save you more.

And if you’re self-employed, we’ve got some great tips for financing a business car.

Do you really have to drive?

These days with many people working from home, our cars remain idle in the driveway. While this saves money, it won’t hurt to keep your car happy while you’re not driving as much.

And with cars in the same place all day, every day, it’s easy for thieves to target. Make sure your insurance covers theft.

Even when we can drive, is carpooling or public transport an option?

This isn’t simply good for fuel consumption, it’s fantastic for the environment! And just as much as we love saving money, we love doing good things for our planet.

Checking your car insurance policy could save you

While CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance is compulsory across Australia, Third Party Property Damage, Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive Car Insurance are not.

And we’re worried. Why?

Because during a recent survey you told us only 50% of you compare insurance providers every year, with just 25% comparing every few years.

That means at least 50% of people could be getting more value from their car insurance policy. And who wants to pay more money for insurance when there is a new outfit just waiting to be bought.

Depending on your policy, here’s a few benefit some insurers offer:

  • Claims free discount – no claims in the last X number of years? Ka-ching
  • Paid in full discount – pay your annual premium in full and pocket some extra $$$
  • Only-driver discount – if you’re the only driver, say hello to some extra money in your bank account (and other financial perks)
  • Early shopper discount – the early bird gets the… dollars

There are more discounts on the market if you do your research!

ridesharing safety can be done via your mobile phone like this girl has in a car

App alert

During our research, we stumbled on some ah-mazing apps, including a few to help find the best petrol prices.

Here’s a few of our faves:

  • Moneysmart – not only great for calculating costs, it’s extra great if you’re financing your car.
  • MotorMouth – cheap fuel anyone? You have to register but this app saved us 23c a litre a few days ago.
  • MoneyBrilliant – there’s a free option and it helps you budget and manage your money. Connecting to almost 500 banks, it’s one of the best.
  • Pocketbook – the one budget app to rule them all. It’s free and syncs everything, so you can see where you spend and where you can save.

Owning and maintaining a car costs money, but with a little planning and insight, you might just be able to save a few extra dollars.

After all, those awesome new sunglasses you’ve had your eye on aren’t going to buy themselves.

Over to you – lower those car running costs

What handy tips do you have to reduce fuel and car running costs? We’d love to add them to our list, so let us know via our Facebook page.

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