Having a car is such a huge expense from insurance and road tax to MOT’s and services, and that’s not to mention the price of petrol, parking and the general upkeep of a car. I have been spoilt having a car ever since I passed my test 8 and a half years ago (that thought makes me feel so old haha). Sometimes I think to myself life would be so much cheaper if I didn’t have the monthly outgoings attached to a car but then because I’ve always had one I’d be lost without it. Going to see my parents, heading to the gym, doing a big supermarket shop or going away on holiday and to festivals, I always have the use of a car.
Make sure you have regular services
I’m sure like me you all get the reminders to get a service each year when you have your MOT done and while this is advisable if you use your car a lot (especially when commuting), if like me you use it for a few short journeys a week (and the occassional longer haul trip) every year seems a bit excessive. I tend to do mine every other year as while it would be nice to do it at a different time to my MOT so it’s not another expense, a lot of places do good deals on combined MOT and service deals, but do shop around.
Opt for a carport if you don’t have a garage
Not all of us have the luxury of a garage to park our car in, actually, I’m willing to bet almost all of us lack a garage (or at least one which isn’t full of junk and can house a car). 123V offer a carport which is a freestanding fixture which can offer weather protection from rain/ snow/ ice which is great when there’s snow and you need to make a quick getaway to work. It also allows you to unload shopping and luggage undercover so if it’s raining outside when you get home from the shops you don’t have to get wet.
Go on the occasional longer journey
I’ve been told so many times how lots of short journeys with nothing longer can actually be pretty harmful for my car as it doesn’t get time to properly work. When I’m going to parents/ gym/ shops I’m rarely in the car more than 10-15 minutes so every month or so I’ll try to do a longer drive and visit a friend whose moved away or go on a day trip to get my car warmed up and moving.
Check your battery
Especially with the colder/ darker weather coming you’ll want to check your car battery is both charged and in good condition. You’ll have your lights on and your heater cranked up far more in the winter which can put greater strain on the battery. If your battery is old it might be worth buying a new one as the last thing you want to happen is have it run out and your car not start.
If you drive a lot, get a dashcam
If you’re in your car a lot for work or visiting friends/ family it can pay to get a dashcam for your car. A dashcam will record what’s going on in the road so in the unfortunate event that you’re in an accident you can show and prove exactly what happened. You can actually buy pretty cheap dashcam’s online and a lot of retailers are starting to sell them, and while it’s one of those things you hope you’ll never need it might save you a lot of time/ hassle/ money in the future.
Get breakdown cover if you don’t already
So many companies offer breakdown cover and chances are you can get it through your bank/ credit card for very little money but having breakdown cover is so useful. Knowing you can just call a company if your car stops working/ doesn’t start/ something bursts or any other issue is a godsend and can save you money having to get towed to a garage. An investment every car owner should have.
Make sure you always have an emergency kit in the car
While this won’t really do much for your car it will help you in the case of an emergency. When the bad weather starts to kick in (rain/ snow/ fog/ hail/ frost) there’s a chance you might have to pull over and stop driving for a bit or be stuck in tail to tail traffic for a while. Having an emergency kit with a blanket/ fluorescent jacket/ water/ emergency phone charger/ warm socks/ food you’ll be prepared if you get stuck out somewhere.