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Top tips to keep car maintenance costs in check

Top tips to keep car maintenance costs in check

Category: Car insurance

Updated: 26/08/2015
First Published: 26/08/2015

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This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Owning a car can be an expensive business. Not only do you need to keep it fuelled and pay for the likes of car insurance, road tax and MOTs, but general maintenance costs can add up, too, and that's why it's so important to stay on top of things. We want to help ensure you're not spending over the odds, so here are a few things you can do to keep maintenance costs in check.

  • Learn the basics. You don't want to be running to a garage every time you need to re-fill the water coolant, change the windscreen wiper blades or replace a bulb, so make sure you know what's going on both under the bonnet and above it. You don't need to be a qualified mechanic, but you do need to know the basics – it could save you a small fortune in unnecessary trips to the garage! Having said that…
  • Don't be afraid to get faults checked. Even though it's important to understand the basics, you don't want to go too far in the other direction and assume you're an expert in all things car-related. If something doesn't sound or look quite right, get it checked!
  • Be aware of common issues. There are several common car-related issues that will always warrant a trip to the garage. These can include things like heavy steering, brakes that feel slack or spongy, faulty headlights and incorrect wheel alignment, so in these cases, head to the garage straight away, as failing to do so won't only be dangerous, but it could cost more in the long run. The same applies if any warning lights appear on the dashboard – if it looks important, get it sorted.
  • Don't ignore the chipped windscreen! It can be tempting to ignore the tiny chip on your windscreen, perhaps in fear that it'll cost too much to get it fixed. Besides, it's only small, right? Well, it may be small for the time being, but chips can quickly develop into cracks, and then it'll cost a whole lot more to put right! Repairing a chip can often be a simple and relatively low-cost process, and you probably won't even need to claim for it on your car insurance.
  • Get your car serviced regularly. Think you could save a few pounds by not getting your car serviced? Think again! Regular servicing is the key to ensuring that your car runs smoothly – any potential problems will be stopped in their tracks, which could save a huge amount of cash in the future. Failing to keep up with proper servicing could even invalidate your insurance, so it simply doesn't pay.

Above all, it's important to stay on top of things. Ignore that rattle and miss the oil changes at your peril, because if you don't sort things out quickly, the damage (and costs!) could escalate. Check out the infographic below from our friends at Sainsbury's Bank to get a more detailed insight into keeping your car well-maintained and road-ready, and if you're looking for any other tips on how to keep your finances in check, keep a close eye on our news pages – they're chock-full of money saving tips and helpful hints, all designed to help make your money go further!

Car maintenance basics Infographic from Sainsburys Bank

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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