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Top tips to help you save money

In recent years we've become a nation of bargain hunters who love saving money. With more and more people looking to tighten their purse strings, we take a look at how you can reduce your fuel costs and save money with these simple tips.

Top tips to help you save money from 1st CENTRAL car insurance

Be more fuel efficient

A report by Barclaycard Fuel+ found that eco-unfriendly driving techniques help to add £700 million to our collective fuel bill each year.

In fact, industry specialists claim we could each save a typical £84 a year if we drive more economically.

Shed that excess weight: We all carry unnecessary items in our cars. Do you really need to keep your golf bag or tool kit in your boot all of the time? You only need to carry what you require for that journey.

Research shows that you can save an estimated 2% on fuel for every 50kg you lose from your car, depending on your vehicle size. Lose your roof rack too when you’re not using it.

Petrol can also weigh you down. Consider buying half a tank at a time, providing you don’t have to drive to the other side of town to buy it!

Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated: One leading motoring organisation claims that properly inflated tyres could improve your petrol consumption by up to 2% by giving you better road holding.

Check your tyre pressure regularly to avoid what is known as rolling resistance. This is when your car has to use more energy to roll forward. A 50% reduction in tyre pressure causes fuel consumption to go up by 10%.

Drive in the right gear: Driving in the wrong gear can add 636 million extra fuel litres to our tanks, compared with those car owners who drive more efficiently. Always travel in the right gear. Change up a gear whenever you can and don't put a strain on the engine. Correctly inflated tyres will also help your fuel economy.

Smooth ride: Drastic movements on the pedals, like sudden braking or rapid acceleration, can drain your fuel. Slow down when approaching traffic lights and anticipate that they will change.

Slow down: When we push down too hard on our accelerator pedals we're making our money - as well as our cars - go fast. Staying within the speed limit will make your money go further and help you keep safe at the same time.

The quicker we drive, the more fuel we use. Official Government figures show that we use a maximum of:

  • 25% more fuel driving at 80mph than we do travelling at 70mph
  • 15% more fuel driving at 70mph than we would driving at 50mph
  • 9% more doing 70mph than we would driving at 60mph
If you're stuck in traffic, use your handbrake instead of your brake and clutch, and don't rev your engine. And if you're stuck in a queue for more than a few minutes, or waiting for someone, turn off your engine. Idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel.

Plan your route: By avoiding congestion hotspots, you can run your engine more efficiently by preventing slow, stop-start driving.

Maintenance checks

Nearly 40% of MOTs fail first time, and according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), almost half of all MOT faults could be avoided through basic vehicle checks, such as replacing lightbulbs and windscreen wipers, prior to the test.

By carrying out simple checks on your vehicle such as checking the tyre tread and getting windscreen chips repaired, you could reduce the risk of needing a retest and the associated costs, as well as improve all-round safety.

Shop around for cheaper fuel

It’s now even easier to stay on top of the best deals for fuel all year round.

Sites such as PetrolPrices.com post thousands of updates every day offering visitors news of the cheapest fuel in their area.

Just enter your location and it finds you the cheapest deals and will even show you a map directing you straight to the forecourt.

While the difference is only pennies per litre, it's a saving of around £100 a year for someone who fills up with £50 a week. 

Refer a friend

Our 'refer a friend' scheme means that if you recommend a friend to us and they take up a policy, you’ll receive a £30 Amazon gift certificate.

Not only that, but your friend will also receive a £15 Amazon gift certificate as a thank you. 

All you need to do is complete this simple form, detailing the name and email address of the friend(s) you would like to refer to us. We'll then send each friend an email explaining the offer, and what to do next. 

Find free parking apps

Parking. It’s the scourge of many motorists’ lives - especially in built-up areas. But technology is coming to the rescue in the shape of free parking apps. Free Parking, for example, will find and then guide you to the nearest free or cheap parking.

ApplyParking - London, will even inform you if it is alright to park on any single yellow lines in the capital.

Switching energy suppliers

You can save money in your home too by switching energy suppliers.

Consumer champion Which? recommends that we shop around for the best deal. But research shows that two in three of us have never bothered - even though it’s a relatively simple process.

You could save an average of £301, if you’re a combined electricity and gas customer, according to Which? magazine.

Happy savings!

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