Leasing your first car is an important decision for many new drivers and one that requires a lot of consideration. Alongside your ability to afford the monthly rentals, drivers also need to consider the running costs of the vehicle. Fuel costs, insurance rates and maintenance costs all add up so it’s important to consider all potential costs before picking your next new car.
To help keep running costs low, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts put together some simple top tips to help reduce the running costs of your vehicle as much as possible.
Car insurance is one of the biggest cost considerations for new drivers. Here in the UK, every vehicle used on UK roads and in public places must have an appropriate motor insurance policy in place. For lease vehicles, the vehicle must be insured on a fully comprehensive insurance policy.
Before you buy or lease a vehicle, it is important to check the insurance group number of the car. Typically high-performance cars or prestige models attract a higher insurance group because they can be expensive to repair or replace in the event of accident, while cars in lower groups tend to attract a cheaper premium.
To keep insurance costs down, consider:
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says:
“Younger drivers tend to have higher premiums. Some age groups are paying upwards of £2,000. But if you keep a clean driving record, they're likely to go down.
“But what can you do in the meantime to keep costs down? As a new driver this can be confusing, so we’ve made some top tips to help lower the price of car insurance. And it can be as simple as looking at how you use your car.
“The trick to finding cheaper insurance is shopping around each year. Even if your renewal price is cheaper or the same. It’s likely there's another insurer offering a better price.”
Fuel is most obvious running costs for any car. In 2017, the RAC reported the average cost to fill up a car at the pumps is £66.25 for petrol cars and £67.27 for diesels, making fuel one of the most costly considerations when running a car.
When shopping for your next new car, consider a vehicle with a good fuel consumption to help keep running costs low. As a general rule, a fuel consumption of 30+ MPG for Urban driving and 45/50+ for Extra-Urban driving is considered good.
Other suggestions to help keep fuel costs down include:
In order to keep your new car in the best possible condition, you must service it at regular intervals as advised by the manufacturer. Skipping service and maintenance reminders can not only impact the running of your vehicle but can also prove costly in the long run, potentially resulting in penalties from the finance provider.
To keep maintenance costs down, consider:
If you live in a flat or a house that has an allocated parking space or if you live in an area in which the street parking is controlled, you will likely need to arrange the parking permit with your landlord and/or local authority.
Parking costs are often forgotten about when considering annual running costs for your vehicle but if you need to pay to park your vehicle, costs can quickly clock up.
To help reduce parking costs, consider:
Finally, the way that you drive can also impact on running costs. Driving in a spirited fashion, breaking harshly and accelerating quickly all increases the amount of fuel you use, as well as wearing out parts on the vehicle more quickly.
Accelerating gradually without over-revving as the harder you press, the more fuel you spend
Driving in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine
Allowing yourself to slow naturally to use the stored energy most efficiently
Rolling up gradually to a traffic light as it changes from red to green to prevent stopping