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Keeping car costs down

Money-saving tips for your first car

Buying, running and maintaining a car – it's not cheap. However, there are some tried and tested ways of minimising your spending.

Use fuel efficiently

There isn't much you can do about the cost of fuel. However, if you're an AA Member you can download our app , which shows the 5 cheapest nearby fuel stations on a map.

Once your tank is topped up, our eco driving advice could save you up to 15% on your fuel consumption. Or sign up to our Drive Smart driving course, which will teach you how to drive more safely and efficiently.

Of course, the most straightforward way to save on fuel is to simply use your car less. Ask yourself if all of your journeys are necessary. And could you use alternative modes of transport, or share rides with friends or colleagues? It might save you a pound or two.

Wise maintenance and servicing

It's false economy to cut spending on servicing and maintenance. Savings in the short term, leaving repairs unchecked, can just pave the way to a far more costly problem further down the road.

At the very least your car's annual MOT test will require necessary repairs in order to pass, and point to items that need attention.

When the time does come for a service or repair work, you can still shop around – the AA Garage Guide will point you to a good deal from a local garage. Plus, read our tips on getting the best from your garage.

Besides that, there are things you can do yourself, such as checking the car's engine oil and coolant levels. Just a few basic car checks will minimise costly garage visits.

All your car info in one handy place

Our free digital tool, Automyze, makes it easy to manage your vehicle. Simply pop in the car's registration and a few details, and Automyze will upload all sorts of useful data for you, such as car value, MOT and servicing history, plus a range of technical info and statistics about your car's usage.


Consider breakdown cover

Even if do you keep on top of the maintenance, the unexpected can happen – when you least need it. So thinking ahead and signing up to a breakdown service could avoid the greater expense of forking out for a local garage to collect you.

Our a range of breakdown cover packages provide peace of mind from just £29 a year. The AA Roadside Assistance patrols are ready 24/7, and they get more UK drivers back on the road than anyone else.


Some things in life are inevitable, like breaking down, road tax, and your car becoming less valuable with age. This is often referred to as depreciation.

But this can be an incentive to take good care of your vehicle. This will minimise its rate of depreciation, and extend the length of service it gives you. Which, ultimately, is the best value for money.

Learn more about depreciation.