Peter Vosper - Credit: Archant

Why deciding to miss a service may be a false economy

Why deciding to miss a service may be a false economy

Jim Parker

When things get tough, as they are for many people at the moment, we all need to look at ways of saving money. Whether you are in business or it is your home expenses that are putting on the pressure, there is a temptation to cut out certain potential bills to survive.

We have been living with the difficulties of Covid for over two years now and, every time we think we have solved the problem, another variant arrives and cases rise. Not only are some people becoming seriously ill, but this particular variant has been so prolific members of the NHS are contracting Covid and have to be sent home.

This means many other sick people are affected as their care and, in serious cases, their operations, are needing to be postponed. Until recently, because of the rules and now regardless of a lack of rules, several employees have had to stay at home, losing some earnings as a result.

No one could have predicted the increases in heating and transport fuel, and now the effect of the war in Ukraine, on all our lives. This, added to the rise in prices caused by the world pandemic and the shortages of raw materials, make it necessary to look at all expenditure.

Vehicles are important but at the same time a cost, which, if it can be reduced, would help.

Safety should not be compromised. In today’s world, few of us have the ability or the inclination to carry out servicing and repairs. Gone are the days when we were expected to check the basic things, oil, tyres and water, for example.

With a new car, we expect the manufacturer’s recommended service to be carried out and check these along with brakes, lights, indicators and other road safety items. Indeed, there is a requirement to have these services carried out or otherwise the warranty will not be honoured and the value of the vehicle will be severely diminished. Also, your vehicle may not be roadworthy.

If you have a vehicle where the warranty has expired, you can do more by having safety and expensive items inspected and, in some cases, using an alternate part, which meets the manufacturer’s original equipment standards, but is cheaper. Check this is not compensated for by a lesser period of warranty. Talk to your local dealer who will help you with this.  

There are also many service plans, which spread the cost over a longer period at today’s prices. Owners who took out these plans a year ago, for a two or three year period, will be paying a smaller amount.

The other way to reduce your costs is simply to drive less fast and erratically. I know many of you are already careful drivers and recognize the savings in fuel gained by driving more smoothly and slowly. Looking ahead and anticipating can save not only fuel but will wear out tyres and brakes at less frequent intervals.

Fuel prices do vary, so check your local newspaper for the cheapest prices that week and if they are not far off your usual route fill up there. 10 pence per litre can save up to £4 when filling the average tank.

Finally, although I appreciate it’s not possible for many of you, why not leave the car for a short journey. Some of you have bicycles and some enjoy a walk, both of which are good for your health and keep you fit to deal with Covid, if you are unlucky enough to contract it.

Hopefully, the government will continue to provide additional support for those who need it most and we will return to better times in the future.