How to save money on your new car

This doesn’t just mean you should just buy the cheapest car you can find, but means you should take into account many different factors that may affect you or the car in the future.

These include a series of costly features ranging from fuel costs all the way to residual values. Below is a guide to things you should consider when looking for and buying your new car.

Tax exemptions

Although it may seem a little too good to be true, some cars can be exempt from road tax (Vehicle Exercise Duty) and the London Congestion Charge just by having sub 100g/km of CO2 emissions.

By achieving sub 100g/km of CO2 emissions, a car like the Ford Fiesta is exempt from both these taxes.

This is defiantly something to consider when buying a car, especially if you are closely comparing the price of two or more models as these exemptions may give one car’s price the edge. Low emissions can also mean lower BIK tax rating for business cars.

Tax bands

Tax bands are yet another rung in the expenses ladder. If a car emits over 100g/km of CO2 emissions then it comes with an annual road tax charge. This is determined by whatever band its emissions fall into.

But it is a bit trickier than the lower the emissions the lower tax band, as 1g/km can be the difference between falling into one band and into another.

Tax band A is for sub 100g/km vehicles and comes with no expenses. In tax band B are cars emitting between 101g/km and 110g/km, tax is £20 a year. The table reaches tax band M for vehicles emitting over 255, this costs £475 a year.

The VED table is something which needs to be checked closely as g/km really can make a difference.

Mileage

The better mileage your car does, the less money you are going to spend on fuel, it’s that simple. Some people underestimate how effective good mileage can be.

Depending on whether a car is diesel or petrol, fuel consumption can change drastically, with diesels usually offering both better emissions and mileage than petrol.

The thing to remember with fuel consumption is that a car with lower CO2 emissions emits less, therefore uses less fuel per mile and therefore returns better mileage. For example the Fiat 500 TwinAir emits just 95g/km and returns a combined fuel economy of 68.9mpg.

Fuel saving technology

As well as mileage being a key money saving factor, fuel saving technology aids the car in achieving better mileage.

When looking for a new car it is worth keeping an eye out for stop & start technology. This turns off the car’s engine when idling in traffic and ultimately saves fuel and therefore money.

e-HDi technology also helps a car achieve better mileage as it offers a small electrical boost when the engine is restarting, an action which usually uses a surprising amount of fuel.

Many cars offer these technologies, with the new Vauxhall Insignia offering stop & start technology on its entry level trim.

Monthly packages

When buying a car certain mandatory costs have to be taken into consideration, these include insurance, servicing, road side-assistance etc.

With packages like Peugeot Just Add Fuel these costs can be compiled into one monthly payment. These packages are both cheaper and easier to manage.

These schemes are always worth looking out for with manufacturers.

Residual Value

Even when buying a car you need to consider that you may want to sell it someday. Although a car may seem great on the surface you may need to step back and look at the finer details.

Factors like whether it has a service history or a previous owner who smoked can diminish its value drastically. Other factors include upholstery condition, quality of equipment – including sat nav or sound system and miles tallied on its clock.

Arguably one of the biggest residual value hiccups is the cars exterior appeal. A cars residual value will fall considerably if a cars paint job is a worn or vibrant and ‘un-desirable’ colour. Certain body graphics may also deter car buyers.

Warranty

Warranty packages offer peace of mind as well as costly advantages.

With things like road side cover and minor damage repair warranty packages are always great to have as they can save you money on some of the fundamental aspects of car maintenance.

Some warranty packages, like Kia’s acclaimed seven year warranty, can be carried across when selling your car which can help your cars residual value and appeal.