Seven ways you can save money driving

After record highs in the last few months, petrol prices are slowly falling – but they’re still a third more expensive than they were a year ago.

With the cost of living crisis continuing, there are lots of other ways to save money – other than searching for the cheapest supermarket petrol station. To help you, motoring expert James Baker from RegCarCheck shares seven ways to save money (and even make money) as a driver. 

1) Tax annually instead of monthly

The car tax rates increased last April, but the amount you pay depends on the type of car, and how you pay. You pay an extra 5% if you pay monthly or every six months, so save a bit of money by paying it annually. 

2) Consider leasing instead of buying

Leasing a car isn’t for everyone, and it does have some downsides – it might have strict mileage limits, and you don’t have the option to eventually own the car like you would with a Hire Purchase or Personal Contract Purchase that would also be paid monthly.

However, the monthly costs tend to be lower than financing, with no large fees at the end of the contract, and short-term agreements mean you can switch to new cars often.

If you don’t use a car every day, or maybe just use one for business, and you’re more interested in paying less each month than actually owning the car, then leasing might be a good option for you.  

3) Use parking apps

Use apps like Parkopedia to search for free or cheap parking near you, especially if you want to park near a train station or you’re exploring an area you don’t know well. A lot of car parks have apps to pay rather than using a machine, which means you can add extra time to the parking while you’re out, and not risk accidentally overstaying and getting a ticket. 

4) Haggle with your insurance provider

Instead of auto-renewing your policy, speak to your provider about your costs and try and get a better deal. Look at what you’re paying now, what you’re covered for, and see how the price has changed over the years.

Look online to compare the same policy with other companies and if they can offer a better price, ask your provider to match it, or better it. Don’t be afraid to switch insurers if they can’t do anything with your current policy, just make sure you don’t have big cancellation fees to leave. 

5) Wash your own car

The average price of a car wash is £6.30, which doesn’t sound like a lot but £6.30 every couple of weeks means you’re spending nearly £165 a year. Not only will you spend less, but you can also check for any damage to your vehicle as you clean so you can get it fixed before it ends up costing you more. 

6) Rent out your parking space

If you have a spare spot on your driveway, you could make up to a few hundred pounds a month – particularly if you’re in a city centre, or near a train station, airport, or football ground. You can look online to see what people nearby charge for long or short stays.

Some apps and websites are free to list your space, and some have fees but have more features and visibility. You can set the availability yourself so it doesn’t have to be rented out 24/7, and you can get some extra money for very little effort. 

7) Rent out your car

As well as your parking space, you can also rent out your car. If you’re like a lot of commuters who get the train during the week and only really use your car at the weekends, you can rent it out and make some extra cash.

Depending on the site you list with, you can earn around £50 to £300 a day. You can choose to rent it out for a few hours, days, or even a few weeks when you go on holiday!

Photo by Jenny Ueberberg