Cars are quite a costly expenditure. Once you have bought your vehicle you still have to pay tax, insurance, fuel and probably parking permits too. On top of this, there is the very real risk of failed MOTs and costly replacement parts to factor in. However, there are plenty of ways to keep additional costs to a minimum. In this article, we explain how.

Drive carefully

One of the most effective ways to keep maintenance costs down is through careful driving. Potholes, speed bumps and patch-worked road surfaces can all take their toll on vehicles so be sure to take extra care in slowing down or avoiding them altogether. This will help prolong the life of your tyres and suspension. However, keeping your speed in check will also help decrease the risk of a cracked windscreen from debris (particularly on motorways and gravel roads) as well as extending the life of your brake discs and brake pads.

Get to know your car’s service manual

The service manual provides the manufacturers recommendation as to how often the car should be serviced, how often regular maintenance tasks need to be carried out, and when the car’s replaceable parts might need changing. By familiarising yourself with the service manual you will be able to avoid unnecessary expenditures such as overly frequent oil changes. It will also allow you to better plan for any impending maintenance and repair bills.

Check your tyre pressure regularly

Your recommended tyre pressure is another thing covered in the car service manual. It is best practice to check your tyre pressure every couple of weeks. While that may sound excessive, you would be surprised how quickly tyres can deflate. Driving on over- or under-inflated tyres will lead to uneven wear meaning they will need to be replaced quicker and can also cause tyre failure which is particularly dangerous if it blows out on a busy road. New tyres can cost anything from £70 each so considering how quick and easy it is to check your tyre pressure when you go to fill up your tank it is a maintenance procedure worth doing.

Get your car serviced regularly

You can be forgiven for hoping to spend the bare minimum and only getting maintenance or repairs done should your car happen to fail an MOT. However, getting your vehicle serviced annually could save you money in the long run. Firstly, problems are likely to be caught early on when they can still be fixed rather than replaced. For instance, if an engine problem continues to go undetected and unresolved it could lead to a blown cylinder head gasket (which can cost anywhere from £450 to a few thousand to replace), or worse, a blown engine. It is also worth noting that a well-maintained car is also more efficient, so you’ll save money on fuel as well.