How to reduce the cost of car ownership

The costs of car ownership

Cars are often essential to leading an easy lifestyle, especially if you have to factor in long journeys for work, transporting children or getting to and from a remote location. However, the speed and flexibility you gain from owning a vehicle come at a price.

Aside from the upfront cost of buying the car, you also have to consider your MOT which is a legal requirement and annual maintenance fees. You will also need to insure the vehicle and regularly refuel. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to reduce the cost of owning a car.

How to reduce the costs


Spending money on petrol or diesel is unavoidable if you own a fuel-powered vehicle. However, there are ways to save!

Shop around before you have to fill up to find the petrol sheds with the best prices. Keep an eye on the going rates in the news to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal and so you’re prepared if prices suddenly shoot up.

How you drive can make your fuel go further, and these small savings are significant in the long run. Following the speed limit, accelerating and braking gently and switching up gears as soon as possible will all help to optimise your fuel consumption.


Although it involves investment, taking out a comprehensive car insurance policy each year provides financial protection if you are in an accident, or your car is written off. Without proper insurance, you could face staggering repair bills or be priced out of buying a new vehicle.

Driving carefully will minimise your annual insurance costs. A clean record with no claims and several years of safe driving under your belt will quickly help to bring down the price of policy quotes.


Following best practices for driving also leads to minimal maintenance costs. Avoiding erratic and harsh handling of your car safeguards against the wear and tear of parts, so focus on driving smoothly.

Don’t be tempted to skip your annual services as a way to save. Issues left unresolved can go from easy fixes to major problems in a matter of months, meaning that you shell out more in the long run.

If you want to save on servicing, you can do some small maintenance tasks yourself such as adding air to your tyres and topping up your oil, screenwash and other essential fluids.


Finally, beware of vehicle depreciation. The value of your car diminishes the moment you drive it off the forecourt, and continues to decline during your years of ownership. This affects how much you could get back on your investment in the future.

Different vehicles depreciate at different rates, so if you’re careful with your selection you can safeguard your future resale price. Look at the cars on the market that retain their value best and try to buy at a sensible point based on market fluctuations and inflation.

Choosing an older car which has already experienced its initial depreciation helps to protect you against a big difference in cost and resale value, so it might be worth looking at used cars.


Sign up to Staffordshire Living’s monthly newsletter by entering your email below and receive all the latest news, events, special offers and competitions direct to your inbox.
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.