Transport is the second highest expenditure for households across the country.

The latest household figures available from the Central Statistics Office show that transport now accounts for the second largest chunk of an Irish family’s expenditure coming in at an average of €124 per week. Earlier this month, it was found that the cost of keeping a car is even more expensive, with the average price of running a car being €10,671 a year or €205 per week. A number of factors were taken into consideration including fuel, insurance and maintenance, however there are a number of ways you can significantly reduce your motoring costs.

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Now back to our expert tips!

Buying The Right Car

Trading in any large petrol guzzling, low mileage machine for a smaller more economical motor should be top of your list in this regard. Even just getting a mildly more efficient model could significantly reduce your fuel, tax and insurance costs. This issue could be particularly pertinent for two car families as they should look at the manner in which they use their cars. Two car families should, instead of thinking of cars as his and hers, look at their vehicles as short haul journeys Vs long haul. This will ensure that the more frequently used vehicles for short trips are as economic in terms of fuel and emisions as possible.

Cutting Insurance Costs

Shopping around is ultimately the best tactic for reducing your insurance premium. However providing your insurance company with as much information as possible gives them the power to reduce your premium as much as possible. Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of, states; “You should tell your insurance company if you are cohabiting couple, for example, as this will significantly reduce your risk profile. Putting your partner on your policy can also help reduce your premium, even if they have a vehicle covered by a different insurer. Most insurers will also offer discounted rates for adding multiple vehicles to a policy, these discounts can reach anything up to 20%”. Jonathan also added that “You should never attempt to get an insurance quotes while your NCT is out of date and that you should always let your insurer know immediately. Many consumers don’t realise that when you contact an insurer looking for a quote that these insurers instantaneously have access to a number of other external databases. Insurers can tell if your car is NCT-ed or taxed, however, if you have just taxed or NCT-ed the vehicle then these databases may not be completely up to date”.

Reducing Fuel Costs

Fuel costs can be cut dramatically by switching from petrol or diesel to electric. If that’s not a possibility for you or you are apprehensive about using electric cars then getting your car serviced regularly is the best avenue to go down. The way you drive can also have a massive bearing on how your car consumes fuel. If you are the type of driver who roars away from traffic lights or comes to a screeching halt you may as well be burning cash. If you have exercise equipment, a set of golf clubs or anything else that you leave in the boot of your car then you are essentially paying to ferry them around.

Car Share

If you have a work colleague who lives nearby why not organise a car share for a few days a week? You can take it in turns, pay less for tolls and cut fuel costs virtually in half. You’ll even have a bit of extra cash to splash out on the morning coffees. It would be particularly useful for anyone who has a longer commute in the morning which, given the current housing market in Dublin, will surely only rise. Many people are not particularly fond of car sharing as it can be seen as something that takes away from the ease of the morning commute. However, it is definitely a practice that everyone should at the very least try and who knows it may be a great money saver.

Pay As You Go

One new industry that has sprouted up over the last few years is pay as you go car rentals. These services are an ultra-handy means by which urban dwellers can cut down on costs. If you’re working in a city or town centre where parking can cost you an arm and a leg, then using a pay as you go car whenever you need to be somewhere in a hurry can be the perfect solution. The two main pay as you go car services operating in Ireland at the moment are GoCar and Yuko. The average cost of using these rental car services is just €8 per hour which covers tax, insurance, parking and the first 50Km of petrol.


Source: The Sunday Times

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