How Car Accessories Can Save You Money
Motorists the world over are looking for ways to save money. Even those cruising around in Lamborghini’s appreciate a good deal and the rise in aftermarket car accessories mean plenty abound. Knowing what to lookout for however is not so easy.
Indeed so many gadgets exist in 2018 that combing through them can prove painstaking. Sorting the must haves from the nice to haves however pays dividends longer-term.
In this article we share add-on's proven to save drivers money and therefore commanding serious consideration.
Fitting a black box has long been regarded as a means of keeping insurance premiums down for those new to the road. But the principle stands no matter your age. In fact though older drivers tend to be involved in less collisions the fall-out tends to cost more. Installing an Event Data Recorder gives drivers the opportunity to prove their reliability – providing evidence on how they take corners, adhere to speed limits and more. Insurance companies will look favourably upon those who offer transparency.
Telematics Apps will record the same information free of charge and even provide an overall score for performance. Beware however most insurance companies take a dim view of data stored on a mobile as opposed to the real thing. Then again, there is no harm in trying.
Admittedly headsets do precious little for street cred but do remove the temptation to handle your mobile. Reaching for a smartphone – even for a second – can land you in big trouble with the authorities. Police everywhere are on a mission to crackdown on offenders, with good reason.
Bluetooth enables drivers to make hands-free calls in the first instance but also protects them against accidents brought about by tiredness. Sure enough the best models alert owners when drowsiness sets in – sounding an alarm or triggering a vibration to wake them up.
Using a phone at the wheel can cost you but falling asleep will cost you so much more.
Car Cleaning Kit
A surprise inclusion perhaps but a basic cleaning kit may help accrue extra funds come time to sell your vehicle. Those who avoid the shammy and wax at all costs ignore the impact general wear and tear can have on the likes of paintwork. A gentle wipe down now and again will better maintain the appearance and spare eventual repair costs also.
Those purchasing a car tracker are unlikely to receive much change from £250 but these devices can prove invaluable should a high-end vehicle be stolen. Thieves could be tracked and prosecuted in a matter of hours, helping your bank balance and stress levels in equal measure.
Dash Cameras can save motorists up to £100 a year given their standing with insurance companies. These devices help remove any contention surrounding accidents and thus clear innocent parties of any liability. Who can argue with raw footage?
Not only that but should you be unfortunate enough to encounter aggressive or reckless drivers you can report them armed with video of their erratic behaviour. OK that last point will not exactly save you money but provides a feelgood factor nonetheless.
Finally, dash cams help solve mysteries such as who scratched your car overnight while ‘attempting’ to park quite terribly. Reviewing just what has been captured will provide answers and point you in the direction of whom you should be requesting financial compensation.
The winter months involve hours clearing windshields of ice and readying your car to drive through wind, rain, snow and goodness knows what else. This is a costly exercise as heaters eat into fuel gauges at a rate of knots.
Keeping a demister kit in your glove compartment then makes financial sense. Utilising the equipment will speed up the cleaning process and also ensure you can stay inside for the duration.
Eco Driving Course
The view that driving courses are for learners or those caught speeding is now a short-sighted one. The Eco Driving Scheme is proof that there is much to be gained from the classroom. This programme educates drivers on how to drive economically – saving up to 15% petrol at a time. Unsurprisingly it has proven popular with fleet companies keen for their many drivers to maximise fuel tanks. Not strictly an accessory of course but an effective way to save money all the same.
On the subject of petrol, apps such as GasBuddy now provide a cost comparison for fuel stations close to your current location. A live feed shares prices and directions, helping those motorists who favour a better deal ahead of any one particular station.
An afterthought perhaps but something well worth exploring. Headlights are subject to weathering and will discolour over time. Recognise that yellowing effect? Well it is an ugly sign of aging and hazy headlamps are under-performing ones. The placement of a simple film cover will guard against discolouration, ensuring those bulbs look as good as new. Furthermore, covers repel any stray rocks that could potentially crack the headlight and saddle you with a costly repair bill.
On-board Diagnostics trigger those alerts that warn you all is not well with your car. This real time data is crucial in diagnosing issues quickly but is not exactly impenetrable. Cunning thieves will always discover entry ports and having done so there is little to prevent them cloning a key or even controlling the vehicle outright. Protectors are worth the money, as they will save the outlay of buying a replacement model.
In similar fashion to the Bluetooth headset a phone mount removes the danger of police pulling you over for fiddling with a handheld device. Better still when fixed in place your phone can turn interactive dashboard – acting as sat nav, stereo and more depending on the apps installed.
Some may even go the whole hog and pay for pro installation, which links their phone up to the actual control panel. A double-DIN heat unit slot is typically required for this and the price is likely to run into the hundreds of pounds. Nevertheless if you are addicted to your phone it creates a means of engaging with it legally.
The first sat nav was released in 1995 so you cannot exactly label them new technology. That said their in-built GPS systems are improving year-on-year and are essential for drivers who cover a lot of miles.
The newest TomTom and Garmin accessories include the option of live service – where traffic updates are fed into the car. Better still they will calculate alternative routes that help you bypass any gridlock – saving fuel in the process.
Forget not that sat nav’s also pre-warn owners of approaching speed cameras, saving grateful motorists hundreds of thousands of pounds in fines every year.
Old-school but still effective, steering locks act as the ultimate deterrent. Those of a criminal persuasion will think twice about breaching a vehicle they are powerless from driving away. Keep all valuable possessions out of sight and you will save yourself both hassle and money for a small outlay.
There is money to be saved if not made from adopting just some of the above features. Motoring is an expensive business wherein marginal gains help. Can you afford to ignore all gadgets?