Dad’s Guide To Cheaper Driving #CP

Driving is almost a necessity in the modern age. You need the car for commuting to work and chauffeuring the little ones around to school and social activities. For the sake of safety and convenience, it is one of the most important assets in your daily life. 

But while we love driving, there’s one thing we don’t enjoy. The costs. So, any opportunity to reduce the costs without impacting your safety or enjoyment behind the wheel should be grabbed with open arms. Here are some of the best solutions at your disposal.

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Buy a more suitable vehicle

We all have a dream car, but it’s probably not the most suitable option for family life. Not least from a financial perspective. While you shouldn’t force yourself to drive an old banger either, striking the balance between cost and quality is key.

There are several ways to reduce the costs of buying a car, as well as the associated insurance costs. Checking out the used car marketplace is the most obvious starting point. With so many great models available, you should be able to find a good one that’s only 1-5 years old.

Alternatively, leasing a car can be a wise move. While you won’t own the vehicle, you also won’t lose out to depreciation.

Have the vehicle regularly serviced

When left untreated, even small car faults can turn into very costly jobs. More importantly, the issues can put your family at risk by affecting the car’s performance. The fact that your mpg rate may fall also increases the need to put things right.

As the old cliche states, a stitch in time saves nine. Taking your car to an MOT test centre ahead of schedule is advised. If an issue is identified, repairs and replacements will be a lot cheaper because the damage is localised. Besides, a standard project will be more cost-effective than an emergency one.

If nothing else, regular servicing should keep your mind at ease. As a parent, this is one of the most telling benefits of all.

Complete basic maintenance 

While seeking professional help as soon as you need it is key, some jobs can be done by you. Even if you’re not a petrolhead, learning some basic skills will allow you to keep the car in better health. Or get yourself out of a jam.

Thanks to online tutorials, you can confidently complete various car repair tips. From replacing window wipers to changing light bulbs, the DIY approach will save you money. Keeping the tyres in good health is vital too. Keep the air pressure at the desired psi, and replace them as soon as the treads are worn.

As well as completing the basic tasks, keeping jump leads in your car can save you the call out charges for roadside recovery.

Consider a black box

As mentioned, car insurance is one of the biggest expenses you’ll face. This is especially true if you’re a young dad as men under 30 are harshly hit with the ‘boy racer’ tag. If you can reduce your costs without losing coverage, you should.

One of the best options is to have a black box installed in the car. It tracks your driving and analyses your habits to adjust your car insurance premiums accordingly. It’s not the best option for all drivers. As a parent, though, you are naturally a safe driver. So, you should see positive outcomes.

Of course, it’s still important to shop around for the best insurance firm. When you do both, your costs should significantly fall.

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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