How to cut the cost of car ownership

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The cost of owning and running a car has never been more expensive, according to a money saving website.

Not only is the price of fuel continuing to rise, but the VAT hike to 20 per cent in January will send the cost of car parts, servicing and repairs soaring too.

Moneyexpert.com figures show the average cost of unexpected bills is £178 - and fixing the car is most likely suspect to land you with a problem. But there are ways you can tackle these ever-rising costs...

'Running and owning a car is now more expensive than ever, especially at a time when most of our individual finances are not as good as they once were,' said Gareth Jones of Moneyexpert.com. 'What's more, owning a car is not a luxury, but a necessity for many people as they need a vehicle to travel to work.'

Moneyexpert.com suggests three key areas for you to concentrate on to keep costs down:

Car Insurance:

Look for insurance companies that offer specific discounts for your age group. Think about limiting the amount of miles you travel per year and remember to shop around - not just on one comparison website but all of them. Additional security and driver training can be good ways to cut premiums too, but before shelling out make sure you find out what sort of discount they will earn - it might not be worth it!

Car Warranty:

If you've got a relatively new car, chances are you'll have one already, but it's sometimes worth investing for older cars. Many firms offer standalone warranties for used cars and although they won't cover wear and tear they will often cover the big, expensive failures. Always check the small print, though, to check you are not required to pay anything when you make a claim.

Car Finance:

Taking out finance from a car dealer is often much cheaper than funding it via a personal loan from a bank. And because this finance will be secured on the car you're much more likely to get it. Shop around and there are some incredible deals to be had - many with zero per cent interest which makes the savings really add up!

Jones added: 'There are a number of things consumers can do to cut costs and lessen the effects of inflation. Everyone knows that shopping around for the best deal on your car insurance is a must and is something that can be easily done online.

'Other points to consider too include buying a car warranty. Although this may cost money to begin with, it should mean that you are covered against any unexpected bills for car repairs coming your way.'

Have you got any money saving tips for running your car? Share them with us by posting your comments below.