Owning a car can be expensive but you can mitigate a lot of that expense by shopping around, driving smoothly and getting your car checked over regularly. At £49, a Fixter diagnostic inspection can potentially save you from costly repairs.

To maintain low ownership costs, make sure to follow these 10 tips.

Shop around for your car insurance

Whether you’re looking to insure a new car or your insurance is coming up for renewal, it’s worth shopping around. There are plenty of compairison sites that make this an easy task. However, there are some insurers who aren’t on those sites so don’t forget to check a few different options for the best quote.

If your insurance is about to renew and the price is higher than last year, don’t just go with it. Take some time to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

Change your oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendations

Regular oil changes are important to keep your engine running smoothly. Thankfully, this isn’t something you need to be able to do yourself. Fixter’s interim, full, and major services all include an oil and filter change.

If you’re not sure how often your oil should be changed, check your car’s handbook.

Keep your tyres properly inflated

Improperly inflated tyres can make them wear quicker than they should while also affecting the handling of your car. If you want to make your tyres last as long as possible, keep your tyres inflated to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Again, the optimum pressure can be found in your car’s handbook.

Buy fuel in residential areas

Buying fuel at a motorway service station or at the side of the large road can cost up to 20p more than if you buy in a residential area. Where possible, plan your journeys so you can avoid motorway prices.

Supermarkets tend to be the most affordable option if you’re looking for cheap fuel.

Avoid traffic

Sitting in slow-moving, stop-start traffic can use more fuel than if you’re able to breeze on through. If you want to save money on your fuel bill, take steps to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Apps such as Waze and Google Maps will alert you to any slow-moving traffic before you reach it so you can choose a different route.

Get your car serviced regularly

A regular service will check all the important parts of your car to ensure everything is in tip-top condition. Not only that but a full service will replace or top up all the important fluids and replace any consumable parts such as filters.

A full Fixter service includes a thorough check of your engine, including seals, hoses and belts. The mechanic will also check the clutch and gearbox are in full working order and that the battery is working perfectly too. Your car’s brake discs and pads will be checked along with the running gear too.

Having your car checked over this thoroughly on a yearly basis will help to prolong its life and will help to spot any small issues before they become large, costly problems.

Drive smoothly

By going easy on the accelerator and brakes, you’re going to keep your car working for longer. Gentle acceleration puts less stress on your engine, while gentle braking will make sure your brakes last longer, both of which will save you money in the long run.

Don’t carry unnecessary weight

While a car full of people can often be unavoidable, think about what you’re carrying in the car on the regular basis. If your boot is loaded with equipment for your job, tools or anything else heavy, consider removing it when you don’t need it.

The heavier your car, the more power it’ll take to move it, which impacts your overall fuel consumption.

Change your air filter regularly

Your car’s air filter is designed to protect the engine from harmful dust and debris. Over time, your air filter will get clogged and will stop working as effectively. To protect your engine, make sure you change your air filter according to manufacturer’s guidelines. This is usually done during a service.

Don’t buy premium fuel

If you have a standard car, you’re unlikely to get any kind of benefit from high octane fuel. Don’t spend the money on premium fuel unless you have a high-performance car that will use it effectively.

Follow these tips and you’ll soon start to save money on your car bills.