‘Save hundreds’ on fuel bills by driving ’10 percent’ less

Two-thirds (64 percent) of UK motorists are reducing their vehicle usage to cut bills, according to recently released data. Almost half of more than 2,000 survey respondents said they were driving more economically in order to save money on expensive petrol and diesel bills.

The cost of living crisis is having an enormous strain on millions around the UK, with many looking to slash their motoring bills.

The data, from BookMyGarage.com, found that some are looking to cut corners on their maintenance costs in order to limit their expenditure.

Motorists are also making savings elsewhere, meaning the UK’s car parc of vehicles might not be looking as pristine as usual. 

Over a quarter of drivers (28 percent) said they are putting off cosmetic repairs, whilst many (27.4 percent) are also cleaning their car less frequently to save money.

While the UK’s CPIH inflation rate dipped slightly to 8.8 percent in January 2023, it remains at levels not seen for 30 years, impacting most aspects of running and maintaining a vehicle.

Jessica Potts, Head of Marketing at BookMyGarage.com, said: “The impact of the financial situation in the UK is making itself felt when it comes to expenditure on car running and maintenance costs. 

“For millions of families, fuel bills are a significant part of the monthly budget, and when petrol and diesel prices are still so high, cutting usage can make a real difference.

“Reducing annual milage by just 10 percent – or 1,000 miles – could save hundreds of pounds in fuel bills. 

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“We understand the strain many are under and while cutting fuel bills is a money saver, we wouldn’t recommend cutting corners on car maintenance as it can lead to bigger bills in the long term.”

Drivers are advised to shop around for the best fuel prices locally, including using a fuel checker app, like AA or PetrolPrices.

If they think their car is in need of a professional inspection, this should always be the priority given the risks of motoring with an unsafe vehicle.

According to the most recent data, the average annual mileage in 2021 was just 5,398 miles, although this was heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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However, average annual mileage has been falling almost consistently since 2011, with a massive 500-mile drop between 2019 and 2020.

In 2011, per car, the average annual mileage was a staggering 7,473, although the Government is investing billions into active travel plans.

The analysis comes after BookMyGarage.com reported in December that one-in-three motorists say they are likely to delay or skip having their vehicle serviced in the next 12 months due to increasing financial pressures.

More than four in 10 of the surveyed motorists stated that they are shopping around to save money on their vehicle’s maintenance.

This comes as new data suggests lamps, reflectors and indicators continue to be the most frequent reasons for vehicles failing their MOTs.

However, problems with brakes and tyres are more likely to lead to the most serious failures, according to the RAC and DVSA data.

Bad visibility – including cracks on the windscreen – represented just 8.7 percent of all MOT failures.

Even with cost-of-living pressures, it’s vitally important drivers keep on top of vehicle maintenance otherwise they risk falling into the false economy trap where they pay much more later for repairs.

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