The UK lockdown began on 23rd March 2020 meaning that most motorists have hardly used their cars since. With that in mind, these are my motoring lockdown money saving tips.
Admiral have given partial refunds in light of motorists driving less which has reduced claims made. Ask your insurer if they have followed suit if you are with a different insurance provider.
Check your car insurance policy and consider contacting your insurer to negotiate a reduced premium based on a lower estimated mileage.
Look at any extras your insurance policy may have and see if you need them. If not, ask your insurer if you can get a discount by having the extras removed.
If you are not driving at all and your car is parked on private land including your drive, you can declare it as being off the road by getting a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN) and a refund on your car tax. It’s hardly worth it if it’s only for a few weeks.
You do not need car insurance if your car is untaxed and off the road. If you choose to cancel your car insurance, you run the risk of not having cover for theft or damage.
If your circumstances have changed (for example, you have lost or changed your job), you need to tell your insurance provider. You also need to tell your insurance provider if you have any criminal convictions, speeding points and medical conditions as this affects the risk and insurance premium.
This could work in your favour as well. For example, tweaking your job title can result in paying a lower premium. If you stray too far from your actual occupation, you could be found guilty of fraud and you risk invalidating your insurance as well as facing a criminal conviction.
There are various car insurance risks that you may wish to consider as well.
Most insurance providers are registered with www.topcashback.co.uk. Register with it, pay your car insurance premium and get a cashback as well.
If you can’t be bothered doing so and you are happy with your insurance provider, simply contact your existing insurer 21 days before your policy expires (this is the golden hour for the best quotes) and say that you have had similar quotes for the benchmark figure that you are aiming at and will be happy paying. That’s something I have successfully done in the past.
The Government gave motorists an automatic 6-month extension on their MOT if it was due after 30th March 2020. You can check when your MOT is due via the Government website.
You still need to keep your car in a roadworthy condition.
Check your tyre pressures regularly as vehicles that are sat for any length of time without being driven will gradually lose their tyre pressure. Correct tyre pressures will also save you money at the fuel pump.
Check the tyre tread by looking for the wear bar that sits within the tread. If the wear bar is close to the tread, consider getting the tyres changed before your car goes in for its MOT.
Shop around if you need new car tyres. Incredibly, I have found garages that are part of a national chain charge more if their depot is in a wealthy area compared to a poorer area of Edinburgh.
Check the wiper blades, bulbs front and rear and your windscreen for stone chips. These are the most common MOT fails.
Make sure you move your car regularly, even if it’s just a few feet back and forward, to prevent tyre walls cracking and brakes seizing.
Also run the engine for at least 15 minutes once a week to prevent a flat battery.
Don’t forget to periodically switch the air-conditioning on to keep the coolant moving through the system and to prevent pipe and seal leaks.
Private parking tickets
Private parking ticket appeals have been put on hold. This gives you more time to look for loopholes and technicalities to build up a case to cancel it.
Quiet and deserted roads have resulted in motorists driving faster, which is evidenced by police doing spot checks.
Speed awareness courses in England have been postponed, meaning that you are more likely to get a fine and points if you are caught speeding. There are no speed awareness courses in Scotland.
If you are caught speeding, look for the signs nearby. If a sign is obscured, it cannot be said that the road was adequately signed. Therefore, you should not be found guilty of the alleged offence.
The Road Traffic Act cuts both ways. Both signs must be clearly visible when you enter a speeding restricted area. You can successfully contest a speeding ticket if one sign is obscured by moss, foliage or anything else.
Someone who bought my book successfully cancelled an alleged speeding offence on temporary roadworks, and I have successfully used similar tactics to cancel a Court Summons for an alleged speeding offence.
You need to be given sufficient guidance to make an informed decision. Illegal signs = illegal fines.
It’s worth remembering that if you have coronavirus symptoms, you must stay at home for 7 days and self-isolate and self-medicate. This means that you cannot drive. Your driving licence has been suspended in the DVLAs view.
Going for a drive by yourself is not considered as self-isolating.
If you choose to ignore that and drive anyway, you will invalidate your insurance and the standard of your driving will be adversely affected.
This could result in being charged for driving whilst under the influence of drugs or another charge based on the consequences of driving under these circumstances.
These are my top motoring lockdown money saving tips. Can you add anything else to this?