The Secrets to Saving on Car Maintenance #CP

If you’ve got one or more small humans, the chances are high that you’ve got a car you use for ferrying the family around. Life is great when you’ve got a vehicle that works as expected and doesn’t let you down. But, what happens when you break down?

Well, you’ll likely call your breakdown recovery company for help. The trouble is, you might end up with a hefty repair bill to fix the cause of the breakdown. What if there was a way to prevent such expensive maintenance costs? And one where your car is highly reliable?

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Well, it turns out there are quite a few ways you can keep your car maintenance costs down without breaking the bank. Here’s what you can do:

Avoid Main Dealer Servicing

Franchised car dealerships aligned with a single manufacturer will tell you that it’s best to have your vehicle maintained with them. The trouble is, their parts and labour prices are often much higher than independent garages.

It’s possible to use those other garages and have your vehicle maintained with high-quality, OEM-spec parts. In case you wondered, OEM means ‘original equipment manufacturer’ and refers to parts built to the same standards and tolerances as the car manufacturer’s parts.

The sad truth about car servicing is some people don’t realise they can have their vehicles serviced with those high-quality parts that are significantly cheaper than branded manufacturer ones. Often, the only difference is just a stamp of the car maker’s logo.

Invest in a Service Plan

What is a service plan, you might be asking yourself? A service plan is a way of spreading the cost for routine servicing and repairs in a nutshell. Instead of paying a large upfront bill, your car servicing costs get spread over several small interest-free payments.

The great thing about a service plan is you can customise it to your specific needs. For instance, you can include a full service, MOTs, valeting, an air conditioning service, and things like brake fluid renewal.

Some service plan providers offer collection and delivery, or the use of a courtesy car for the day.

Prevention Is Better Than the Cure

Lastly, some car owners do no maintenance to their vehicles unless required to do so for an MOT. That’s the wrong attitude to have about vehicle ownership because those people are putting their lives at risk, along with those of other road users.

It makes sense to be proactive about your car maintenance so you can keep your repair costs down. Here are some sensible things you can do:

  • Walk around the car once a day or week to check for any oil or water leaks;

    • Have any leaks investigated by a garage;

  • Check your tyre pressures weekly;

    • Any tyres with significant pressure differences from the others should get checked for leaks or damage;

  • Check your fluid levels weekly and top them up where necessary;

Ask your garage for advice if you keep needing to top-up your oil or coolant as your engine may need an overhaul.

Karl Young

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK

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