IF you’re a fan of turning up the heat in your car, you might want to reconsider – leaving it on all winter can add hundreds to your car bills.
Millions of people are already having to think twice before turning on the heat at home as energy bills skyrocket, but you may not know that you need to be careful in your car too.
Luckily, a few simple changes can really help bring your costs down this winter.
Here we take a look at how winter weather is affecting your car bills – and how you can avoid it.
It’s easy to forget to replace your puncture protection when there are a million other things on your to-do list.
But once again make sure you still have insurance or need to renew as the cold winter weather can lead to more car breakdowns.
Freezing temperatures can make it difficult to start the engine and put more stress on parts of the engine.
Puncture protection isn’t a legal requirement, but if you run into trouble miles from home, it could save you a small fortune.
Depending on the policy and what you want included, prices for coverage start at £13 per month.
This is from Nationwide Building Society and is part of their FlexPlus account (you need an account before you can get coverage).
You’ll also need to consider whether the help available is for on-the-go or just at home, as well as the issues that can be addressed under coverage.
If you don’t have insurance but your car breaks down, an emergency call can cost up to £100 or more.
Also, depending on the car problem, you have to pay for all parts and repairs.
Not to mention the breakdown assistance, which you also need to purchase.
The car battery is probably one of the biggest causes of breakdowns in winter.
On average, car batteries last around five years, but only if you take good care of them.
The use of windshield wipers, car lights and, of course, more heating puts more stress on batteries in the colder months.
Temperatures affect battery performance even without the pressure of wipers, lights and heater.
If it’s showing signs of slowing down, it’s worth having your local garage check it out.
A new car battery can cost anywhere from £60 to £185, not to mention the labor cost.
Replacing and installing a car battery by a mechanic can range from £115 to £320, according to personal finance group NimbleFins.
We already know that winter tires are better suited to the colder weather conditions and prevent your engine from skidding.
In the UK the legal requirement for tire depth is 1.6mm tread but in winter it’s 3mm giving you better overall grip.
Don’t forget to check the condition of the tires to make sure they are free of cuts, damage and are not worn out.
According to Checkatrade, replacing four winter tires can average anywhere from £ 600 to £ 700.
This all depends on the quality of the tires and the professional mounting of the tires.