The cost-of-living crisis has touched almost every one of us in the UK, as it looks to enter its third year without showing much sign of abatement. High costs in every direction have narrowed household budgets significantly, and made it much more likely that even one unexpected cost could be enough to topple long-term financial plans. Mitigating the risk of this is vital, then – and one of the more common places such costs can occur is in motoring. But what can you do to make sure your driving doesn’t incur crippling emergency costs?
Arguably the most effective way you can impact the unexpected and emergency costs of motoring is to address your own approach to motoring. Obviously, safer driving habits will reduce your own risk of suffering an accident, but careful motoring can also increase the likelihood that you’ll avoid other types of scrapes.
For example, other road users constantly pose a risk to you, but their mistakes do not necessarily have to result in your involvement in an accident. Careful driving might save you from another driver missing a red light, or from a dangerous overtaker on a country road. Meanwhile, accelerating and braking smoothly can reduce wear on your engine and tyres respectively, helping you squeeze some more months or even years out of them.
Get GAP Insurance
Sometimes it’s necessary to spend a little money in order to enjoy that extra degree of financial protection – something which couldn’t be truer when it comes to the subject of car GAP insurance. GAP stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection, though the acronym form is somewhat true to the purpose of this optional insurance. GAP insurance covers the ‘gap’ between the present value of your vehicle and its value at the time you purchased it.
In the event of an accident, your standard car insurance will not pay out more than it has to – something which could potentially land you in negative equity if your vehicle has fast depreciated in value, or if you are leasing it. GAP insurance is the missing link that can protect the value you placed in your vehicle, saving you a great deal in the worst-case scenario.
Of course, the far simpler solution for keeping your motoring costs down – and avoiding unnecessary unexpected expenditure – is quite simply to buy your vehicles used. There are many reliable and fuel-efficient cars to be found in the used market, and the cost of replacing them is significantly cheaper than replacing a brand-new vehicle. The reasons for this are two-fold: they are cheap on the face of things, and they do not depreciate in value as quickly as newer cars.