Smart Financial Tips For Motorists

Every car owner is aware of just how expensive it can be to keep a car on the road. In addition to the costs of the vehicle itself (often the second biggest purchase that someone will make behind buying a home), a motorist must factor in the cost of fuel, road tax, and maintenance. This all adds up to a significant amount each month, which can make it hard to make ends meet or lead the type of lifestyle that you want. A car is often an important asset, so many people need to keep one, but there are a few smart financial tips that could help your situation.

Switch To An Electric

One good option is to switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle. While these may be expensive upfront, you will make huge long-term savings due to the lack of road tax and fuel, so it is a smart financial move to make. Of course, this isn’t only benefiting you; it is also benefitting the environment and could prove to be a wise long term choice. The government has been introducing bans and fines on polluting vehicles, but with the proposed 2035 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel causing a stir, you might be able to get your hands of an excellent model before they become hugely in demand and more expensive as a result.

Reduce Driving

Another good tip for motorists is simply to drive as little as possible. People will grab the keys automatically when they need to leave the house, but often you will find that you could walk or cycle, which is both free and healthy. Additionally, if you are able to reduce your annual mileage by a significant amount, then you could also lower your insurance premium.

Lease Instead of Buy

Leasing can bring many benefits over purchasing a car and not only from a financial standpoint. From a financial standpoint, leasing makes a lot of sense because you will have easy to manage monthly repayments, and then at the end of the agreement, you simply take out another lease on a newer car (one which could be cheaper to run). This means that depreciation is not an issue, which could save you thousands of pounds. Not only this, but you can arrange an affordable car lease with bad credit with ease through specialist companies, making it easier for those with a low credit rating to secure an affordable vehicle.

Perform Your Own Car Maintenance

There are a number of easy to perform maintenance tasks which you can perform yourself, which could help you to make big savings. This is because it will keep the car in good condition for longer and could stop you from needing costly repairs, plus you will save money by doing the work yourself instead of taking the car to a mechanic. A few of the key maintenance tasks include:

  • Changing engine oil
  • Topping up fluids
  • Changing the air filter
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Checking tread depth
  • Keeping tyres inflated to the recommended level
  • Cleaning both inside and out

Hopefully, these financial tips will be of use to motorists and help them to make savings in what can be a very expensive area of life.

The decline of the family saloon

How ‘Fiesta Dad’ and ‘MPV Mum’ have changed Britain’s driveways since the 1980s.
The demise of the family saloon, once the bastion of Britain’s family cars, has been driven by the rise of small-car dad and MPV mum, according to research released today by the UK’s largest insurer Aviva.

In the 1980s the stereotypical two-car family had a large saloon, like a Ford Cortina or Vauxhall Cavalier, and a small ‘runaround’ second car such as a Fiesta or a Datsun Cherry on the driveway1. The women in the family almost always drove the smaller car.

Fast-forward to today and the shape and size of the cars on our driveways and who is driving them have changed significantly.

Aviva asked 2,500 UK adults about their family car history stretching back 30 years and found that, while more families than ever own a second car2, there has been a significant shift towards a more equal size and value split between the cars driven by mum and dad in Britain’s multi-car households.

The death of the saloon
High spec smaller family cars, such as the Volkswagen Golf, the Mini and the Peugeot 207, driven equally by men and women, now dominate the top 10 most popular cars, replacing traditional family saloons like the Vauxhall Vectra, Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mondeo. The traditional family saloon no longer features anywhere in the top 10 list of most popular car models with UK drivers.
The rise of ‘Fiesta dad’ and ‘MPV mum’
As the size and shape of Britain’s family cars have changed so have the people driving them. In the 1980s, large saloons like the Ford Cortina and the Vauxhall Cavalier were popular with men but driven by very few women, who drove mainly small cars such as Fiestas, Minis, and the Sunny and Cherry made by Datsun/Nissan.

Since 2010 the big car/small car gender divide had changed completely. Two thirds of Fiesta drivers are now men. Women are increasingly opting for large, modern alternatives, and are more likely than men to drive big SUV and 4×4 hybrids such as the Citroen Picasso and the Toyota RAV4.

The evolution of the family car
In the 1980s Britain’s family cars looked very similar, with just four big and small car combinations dominating our driveways. Vauxhall and Ford were the most popular saloons of choice. The four pairings most commonly seen in streets across Britain were: the Vauxhall Cavalier/Mini Rover; the Vauxhall Cavalier/Ford Fiesta; the Ford Cortina/Mini Rover and the Ford Escort/Vauxhall Nova4.

In 2011 the picture is more complicated because of the huge rise in the number of different models available. Our driveways may have become more diverse but the type of car parked on them tells a common story. As motoring costs increase and with greater demand for fuel efficiency, families are increasingly opting for two small cars or a small car and an MPV hybrid. The most common car type combinations in 2011 were Small Family Cars (VW Golf, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra) with Mini/Compact cars (Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa) and SUVs/4x4s/MPV (Nissan Qashqai, Citreon Picasso, Ford Galaxy) with Mini/Compact cars (Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa)5.

Commenting on the research, Heather Smith, director of car insurance at Aviva, said: “Thirty years ago the big saloon and the small ‘runaround’ sitting side by side outside Britain’s family homes was a ubiquitous sight. Now you’re more likely to see two VW Golfs or newer SUV/4×4 hybrids like the Nissan Qashqai and the Suzuki Grand Vitara sharing driveway space.

“As families’ lives become more busy and complex, with two working parents and children to be dropped off at school, it appears multi-tasking mums need a vehicle fit for both work and family life while cost and fuel efficiency are increasingly important to dad”.

Insurers blacklist drivers based on postcode


Premiums are soaring as honest motorists foot the bill for the ‘fraud epidemic’ sweeping the country, which has lead to insurers secretly to blacklist certain postcodes.

Many car owners have seen a rise of up to forty per cent in insurance premiums over the past year, insurers are blaming an increase in fraudulent claims

An investigation has shown blacklisted areas of the UK where concentrations of fraudulent activity have taken place. These claims have lead some insurance companies to flat-out refuse some motorists insurnace in some areas.

The most popular fraudulent incidents include staged accidents, bogus injury claims and fronting, where parents claim they are the main driver for heir child’s car.

Top ten areas for fraudulent claims; Birmingham, Liverpool, Bradford, East London, Manchester, North London, Bolton, Blackburn, Southall and Oldham.

Birmingham tops the list with a staggering one in ten suspicious claims, with B8 – east Digbeth being one of the worst spots followed by B15 – Edgbaston

James Heath, head of counter fraud strategy at Keoghs, says: ‘We are now seeing what can reasonably be described as a fraud epidemic across the UK.

‘It is clear from these results that fraud is no longer restricted to the country’s most heavily built-up areas.’

See how your postcode affects your car and home insurance at