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The costs associated with running a car rack up fast. Car insurance, road tax, MOT tests and fuel do not come cheap. It is worth being savvy with every aspect of car ownership as small savings can add up when you consider how much you have saved in a year. Here are a few handy tips for keeping on the ball with the costs of driving.

1 – Carefully select an MOT centre to increase your chance of passing

An MOT test by itself is one of the cheapest costs of running a vehicle – if you pass first time. The test itself usually costs in the region of £50, so if no repair work is required, this doesn’t break the bank. MOT test centres make their money when your car fails.

Some car dealerships will look out for reasons to fail your car to make more money. If you’re not sure which MOT test centre to trust, head to a small council run MOT test centre. Many drivers are not aware that these council run test centres exist. Most of these test centres don’t offer repair work if your test fails, so they have no ulterior motive in failing you. You are more likely to get an honest result from a test centre which has nothing to gain, increasing your chance of passing.

2 – Lower your fuel costs by giving your car a spring clean

Believe it or not, a cleaned out car could save you money. Fuel prices are constantly on the rise and the efficiency of your car is affected by the energy it requires. If your car is weighed down with a roof rack, pram and sports equipment, it will need to burn more fuel to gain momentum. The lighter your car is, the less fuel required. Don’t add any unnecessary weight to your car, this includes filling your tank when you don’t need to. Why use up more of your car’s energy if you don’t need to?

3 – Avoid paying more than necessary for petrol

You will have noticed that petrol prices vary significantly from one petrol station to the next. Filling your car up at the first petrol station you find can be a huge waste of money. There are a number of websites and apps available which allow you to enter your postcode and search for the cheapest petrol station to your current location.

4 – Don’t make assumptions when you insure your car

When signing up for a new car insurance premium, many motorists make the mistake of assuming that certain options are cheaper than others. Often, motorists are correct in their judgement but the system simply does not work as expected.

You would assume that third party cover is cheaper than fully comprehensive. However, this is not always the case. Try both options to see which option works out cheaper for you, some insurers consider you to be lower risk if you select this option.

Jade O’Donnell is a renowned author of all things relating to cars. When getting the latest information on motor loans, Jade visits