Motorists have welcomed the news that the price of petrol has started to fall again after four consecutive months of pump price rises.
This is according to the RAC’s July Fuel Watch, which reports that the drop has been brought about by a reduction in wholesale costs.
At the beginning of August, many of the major supermarkets knocked 2p a litre off both petrol and diesel.
How to control your petrol costs
But despite moves such as this, petrol, insurance and other motoring costs – such as parking, maintenance and replacement parts – still remain a burden for many car owners.
Costs are on the up
In fact, new findings from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) and Acturis, show that in the second quarter of 2016, premiums paid for car insurance shot up by more than 11 per cent, compared to the same quarter in 2015.
When insurance premium tax (IPT) is added – which itself has increased by 66.7 per cent in the same period – motorists are paying 15 per cent more for the same cover, and the highest since the index began monitoring premiums in 2010.
Fraudulent personal injury claims have been cited as one of the key factors behind the rising cost of car cover.
Find ways to drive costs down
With the cost of car ownership on the up, it’s important to find ways to save money. One of the simplest ways to do this is by signing up to a car-share scheme.
What is a car-share scheme?
Ridesharing is about finding others travelling the same way as you, and spreading the cost.
As a driver, you can cut journey costs by offering passengers lifts in return for a payment towards fuel costs.
As a passenger, you can take advantage of those empty seats and cut both your travelling costs, and your carbon footprint.
Eight simple steps to driving more economically
Check with your insurer
Because drivers do not make a profit on car-sharing arrangements – as the passenger is only contributing towards petrol – it should not impact on your motor cover.
That said, it's always worth checking with your insurer first.
Find a ridesharing organisation
Firms operating in this arena include BlaBlaCar, Gocarshare and Liftshare.
• With BlaBlaCar (available as an app: BlaBlaCar for iPhone, BlaBlaCar for Android) drivers and passengers can key in the details of where they are going, and get linked with like-minded others doing the same.
Drivers can then charge a fee, and put this money towards petrol and the running cost of their car.
Current prices on the site include London to Manchester for £14, and Edinburgh to Newcastle for £8.
• Similarly, with Gocarshare, you can hitch a cheap ride with some strangers, or give someone else a lift.
The website operates a simple message board on which you can either post a request for a lift, or give brief details of the journey you are planning, and the price you are charging for a seat.
• Liftshare (available as an app: Liftshare for iPhone, Liftshare for Android) is another car-pooling option which lets users post details of journeys, and search for others going the same way.
Give car-sharing a go
One of the upsides of ridesharing is putting an end to the boredom of a long journey as you have someone to talk to.
Equally, if you – or the person you are sharing with – prefers to grunt or say nothing, car-sharing should still offer a far more comfortable option than taking the long-distance bus.
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