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The 'Great Keep Your Car Tip Top For Less' Hunt

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
101 replies 35.6K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
Running a car can be an expensive necessity and while there are tricks to cut the cost of MOTs (see MOT Cost Cutting: Slice the cost of repairs) prevention is better than cure and it's much more MoneySaving to try and keep your car in tip top condition so you don't have to stump up the money for repairs.

So I thought I'd tap MoneySavers knowledge for their top tips and hints for looking after their car on the cheap without cutting corners!

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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Replies

  • khizmankhizman Forumite
    527 posts
    Change your oil every 5kish,
    Costs around £30 and can save your engine, also remember to check it frequently.
    Drivers of turbo and turbodiesel cars, when you park up, let the engine idle for about 20 seconds to allow oil to flow to the turbo to cool it down and prevent turbo failure.
  • pKaTzpKaTz Forumite
    236 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    i think i read on this site that some supermarket fuels are not all they're made out to be.
    But asda is supposed to be the same as shell.
    asda is also a little little bit cheaper than most other forecourts.
    PLUS if u get the asda credit card u get 2p off every litre of fuel when paying with the credit card.Just make sure u pay the balance off the card every month and use for ur asda shop too for extra points.
    those 2p's soon add up.
  • You don't have to use the franchise dealer for servicing. The warranty is now valid as long as any garage proves it performs the full service (i.e a checklist) and uses suitable replacement parts.

    Franchise dealers use servicing to make their money now that car prices are much tighter than a few years ago. We, the consumers, are more savvy, and the rise in CarGiants and their like mean that margins on selling cars are much tighter. Dealers' hourly servicing rates are significantly more than a local garage, sometime 100% higher (see Which? passim). On a major 4-hour service, you can save over £100.:beer:

    Plus, you're supporting a local business :cool:
    Jumbo

    "You may have speed, but I have momentum"
  • You don't have to use the franchise dealer for servicing. The warranty is now valid as long as any garage proves it performs the full service (i.e a checklist) and uses suitable replacement parts.

    Franchise dealers use servicing to make their money now that car prices are much tighter than a few years ago. We, the consumers, are more savvy, and the rise in CarGiants and their like mean that margins on selling cars are much tighter. Dealers' hourly servicing rates are significantly more than a local garage, sometime 100% higher (see Which? passim). On a major 4-hour service, you can save over £100.:beer:

    Plus, you're supporting a local business :cool:

    This is true but the local garage MUST be VAT registered (the whole thing was a ruling by the European Court a couple of years ago)

    So you can't use really small one man bands as the odds are that they are not VAT registered.
  • MORPH3USMORPH3US Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    4.9K posts
    jcchandler wrote:
    This is true but the local garage MUST be VAT registered (the whole thing was a ruling by the European Court a couple of years ago)

    So you can't use really small one man bands as the odds are that they are not VAT registered.


    I didn't know that, so in all likelyhood I have invalidated my warranty (doesn't matter now, it has long since finished)....

    M
  • 'don't keep changing your car, you only really lose money when you sell it'

    There's no reason why a car shouldn't last forever, if you keep it regularly maintained. I've had my 2 cars for 10 & 12 years, some years they have been known to only cost me the price of a service.
    Get repairs done properly, not botched up on the cheap.
    I tell the garage, 'this 'component' has lasted for 20 years, I want the replacement to last just as long'
    I have friends who run 50 year old vehicles, to my mind, there is no reason why my 20 year old Porsche & 30 year old VW camper shouldn't last longer than I do.
  • If you've got an older car and it's out of warranty, buy a Haynes manual or similar and do the basic services yourself.

    Changing oil, oil filters, air filters, spark plugs and the like isn't that hard to do if you're a little handy. Also, especially if you're not driving that much, it allows you to control your service intervals a bit better; if you're mostly driving short distances, it pays to change the oil more often as the contaminants don't burn off that well on short journeys. Also, buying the parts and fluids yourself allows to control the quality of what goes in your car!

    Another top money-saving time that bugs me pretty much every time I buy a car - folks, check your tyre pressures regularly. I've lost count of the vehicles I've bought that had tyre pressures that were way to low. That doesn't do the tyres any good and can severely shorten their lifespan. Plus, if you don't notice it and the tyre blows/jumps off the rim, you'll pay more for your insurance...

    Also, if you're planning to keep your vehicle for a long time, it maybe worth investing in a stainless steel exhaust when the one on the car gives up the ghost. Over the years this is likely to work out cheaper than buying a Kwik-Fit exhaust every couple of years.

    If you're running a classic car or a car that's considered special enough to have an owners club, it's often well worth investigating what benefits a club membership can give you. Larger clubs can often negotiate better deals for insurance and/or breakdown cover, some have discount deals at specialist garages, plus you can often tap into an informal spare network which is extremely handy if your car is rare and/or is suffering from high parts prices.

    Speaking of parts prices, there is often no need for buying new parts if the old one can be reconditioned - not to mention that you often can replace defective parts with good secondhand parts. This is especially useful for body parts as it'll work out a lot cheaper to get a used bumper, door or wing from a breakers (provided it is the correct colour) rather than buying a new one and having to pay for getting it painted.
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  • I am thinking of getting a newer car soon, but not sure if i should. I woud like a little more room in the back for my son.

    My 2001 corsa has only done 33000 miles, looking at the guides, i should get about £3500 for it. I have £2500 spare cash so am looking at the £6000 market. I have been told Honda, Vauxhall, Peugeot, and Ford are reliable makes but when i look at these cars, for that money i do get a newer car, but the mileage on these are much higher than my current.

    Should i stick to my current low mileage car or get a newer one with higher mileage?

    I dont want to get something cheap that will depreciate rapidly either.

    :confused:
  • Hi,

    Car parts can be found at a fraction of the cost at www.247spares.co.uk

    You enter the details of the part(s) you're needing and their system searches all the salvage yards countrywide, replying by e-mail or text the cost of the part at the salvage yards who have that part. You choose which one you want and can have it posted directly to the garage repairing your car. I'd be inclined to confirm that your garage will use a part supplied by yourself - my garage had no problem with doing this. From an initial quote of £272.00 for a car part, I paid £50.00.

    'Blue.
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  • I have a 17 year old car and I have had it for 13 years. I dread each year that it will not be worthwhile to get it through MOT because I love it so much, but am always pleasantly surprised. I use a local mobile mechanic and he is great. He sources used parts for me, because he knows I am skint! Also, new parts cost more that the value of the car most of the time. Some parts I've had from ebay and have been lucky. The best thing about using the mobile mechanic is that he comes to my house or workplace and does the work there, so no need to be without the car. Because he doesn't have all the usual basic outlays (rent/utilities etc), his prices are cheaper than the garage. Also, you get to know him and trust is built up. He has been known to do the work and then let me drop the money off later. Not many garages would do that. There has't been anything really serious so far though, so fingers crossed.
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