Dick Lovett

Top 5 ways to save money on your car this winter

Posted 16th December 2022

Updated on 3rd October 2023

At Dick Lovett, we recognise that winter can be a particularly challenging time for many families. Operating in the motor industry, we are well aware of the potential increased running costs for your car over the coming months as winter sets in.

We put customer care above everything, and strive to always be looking at different ways to help our valued customers. That's why we have come up with five top tips to help you save money this winter.

Keep your car inside where possible

For many, the pain of scraping snow or ice off of a windscreen on a cold morning is a task not to be desired. As temperatures continue to drop, this issue can become all the more persistent. 

A good idea to save you time and money is to park your car in a garage or carport if you have access to one. Keeping your car away from colder temperatures ensures that you do not have to burn fuel whilst stationary to clear your windscreen and rear screen of frost . If you cannot keep your car inside, try to plan ahead for adverse conditions. For example, placing an old towel across your windscreen can help catch the frost, allowing you to begin your morning journey faster.

3.0 CSL

Prepare for your MOT early

Whilst regular servicing helps ensure your car continues to run smoothly, your car also requires a yearly MOT (if your vehicle is older than three years). If your MOT falls around the winter months, it is easily forgotten amongst the Christmas rush.

If you own a BMW or a MINI, we offer some fantastic Monthly Payment Service Plans to help maintain your car and manage your costs. Additionally, we now offer 0% APR Finance Plans, which you can check your eligibility for by clicking here

Whilst getting an MOT is a legal requirement, it also gives an indication on the overall condition of your car. This helps you identify any areas of concern which could quickly arise into costly repairs if they are neglected. You can check when your MOT expires with this government link . Make sure you book your MOT as soon as possible to avoid paying a fine of up to £1,000. Read more about MOTs and what they cover here.

BMW iX1 and X1

Keep an eye on your battery

If you own a car which is three years and older, then you should be aware of the effects that colder temperatures can have on the battery. Car batteries produce a chemical reaction which creates a charge to power the starter motor of your car and various electrical components. When exposed to colder temperatures, older batteries can struggle to create this reaction or hold the charge it produces. There are a few things you can do to keep your battery in good condition: 

  • Starting your engine up at least once a week and letting it run for a few minutes ensures your battery continues to function in good working order. Turning off non-essential systems like music, lights and air conditioning will further preserve the life of your car’s battery. However, if you do not drive long distance journeys often, then investing in a trickle charger is a good option to keep your battery charged throughout the colder months - saving you from the cost of having to install a replacement battery. 

  • Battery covers are a relatively inexpensive accessory that have multiple benefits to your battery’s health. Most covers provide your battery with a form of thermal insulation, decreasing the exposure to drastic temperature changes. Thermal battery covers also protect battery terminals from corrosion over time. 

We recommend consulting a brand specialist before purchasing a battery cover to ensure health and safety procedures are followed.

MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4

Tyre Health

As petrol and diesel costs remain high over the winter months, we all want to get the maximum fuel efficiency that our cars will allow. Consistent driving in colder weather has a significant impact on tyre pressure, and lower tyre pressure increases the drag of your vehicle, thus increasing fuel consumption. We recommend checking your tyre pressure at least every month to ensure optimum tyre performance. 

Washing around the wheel arches is a useful tip to remove any corrosive road salt that has embedded onto your car and prevents rust from forming in hard to reach areas. 

Winter tyres are a great option to keep you and your car safe during the colder months. Our winter tyres are optimised for temperatures of 7ºC and below, giving you specialist protection on poor road conditions. Unique designs and deeper treads help to disperse lying snow and water more efficiently than normal road tyres, helping to effectively reduce stopping distances and potential accidents.

MINI GP with winter tyres

Avoid shorter journeys

It is a well known fact that shorter journeys are the most fuel inefficient. With fuel costs at a record high compared to the last five years, ensuring that you utilise your petrol or diesel car by only using it on longer journeys will help protect your engine, and allow it to operate at a more economical level. As well as being bad for the environment, short journeys can put a lot of stress on car batteries. If the car isn't running for long, the battery doesn't get enough chance to recharge. So if you find that you're doing a lot of short journeys, it's possible that your battery could be in danger of being undercharged.

For further advice on how to save money this winter, have a browse over our Winter Driving Tips article or contact your closest Dick Lovett Dealership, where our dedicated staff will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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