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Christmas is spendy – here’s how to cut driving costs

Spend less on driving this Christmas

Christmas starts costing you money even before all the presents, wrapping paper, food and alcohol are bought. If you’re living away from the place you go to for Christmas, getting there is another big money-burner.

Take our advice and save money where you can - you’ll feel better for it come January, when the tinsel is in tatters and you could've been facing a month of plain instant noodles.

  1. Share the load

    If you’re making the big pilgrimage home from uni or a shared house, work out with your friends who’s going where so you can arrange a road trip (and get them to chip in for fuel and snacks!).

    If you live NOWHERE near any of your mates, get on Liftshare. You’ll find other people in need of a ride so you can split petrol costs.

    Get more tips for driving long journeys.
  2. Spend money to save money

    I know it’s tough to keep on top of car maintenance when you’re barely on top of laundry maintenance, but investing a little in your car now could save you a fortune down the line. A healthy car is a car that’s not wasting fuel or risking costly repair.

    Before making the big journey home for Christmas, do a basic check of your car’s vitals. If you’ve been putting off a service, time to bite the bullet. If you’re all good on the service front, take your car to Halfords for a free winter check - battery, bulbs, oil, blades and screenwash - to make sure the most important things are covered.

  3. Fill up in the right place

    Long journey = big fuel spend, and the UK is the most expensive place on the planet to buy petrol.

    You’ll be needing to fill your tank but it would be wise to do it in the right place because fuel costs can be wildly different between garages.

    Use petrolprices.com to find the cheapest price in your area then fill ‘er up.

  4. Drive wise

    You can make your fuel go further by driving more economically.

    Less acceleration means less fuel being used, so accelerate gradually and stay under 3000 revs if you can. Accelerating hard means you probably need to brake harder, which is a complete waste of all that petrol you used on accelerating in the first place.

    Slowing naturally by taking your foot off the accelerator uses the energy you’ve already built up - the brake just cuts it out completely, wasting your fuel.

    Driving in a higher gear also lowers your fuel consumption. We’re not saying fifth gear when you’re driving at 30 is necessarily a good idea but for 40mph and above, it could save you a bit.

  5. Don’t turn your car into Santa’s sleigh

    If you’re loading your car up with people and all their stuff for the Christmas break, adding even more weight with presents is going to lower your fuel efficiency quite drastically.

    Order your presents online and have them delivered to where you’ll be spending the holiday, or start buying once you’re back. Gives you an excuse to put it off!

Check out our winter driving infographic.


Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .

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ingenie is a car insurance brand for young drivers aged 17-25. We fit a black box in your car to assess your driving style. We'll review your policy 3 times a year and those who drive well could receive a discount.

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