For many people, owning a vehicle isn’t just a nice-to-have luxury – it’s absolutely essential for going about their day-to-day business. In these tough economic times though, it pays to be savvy with your finances, and have some clever tricks up your sleeve so you get the most for your money. Thinking about how you’ll manage your budget in the year ahead? You’ve come to the right place! Here, we discuss how to make your vehicle budget go further in 2015.

Ensure you’re using the best kind of car finance for your needs

Car finance can be really quite confusing, and it’s often hard to know exactly what you need, and what works out as being the best deal for you. You need to do some research, find out what you’re eligible for, and what meets your requirements. If you’re planning on purchasing a new vehicle this year, this is a really relevant and important task to take care of. If you think that you might be stuck in the wrong deal though, you might be able to make some changes that can have a positive impact on your finances. You may even find that you can afford to upgrade sooner than you might think.

Car share with other people in your workplace

If you live near people who you work with, car sharing can be a really great strategy. You could save a considerable chunk on fuel, and it’s also kinder to the environment. If the route to work is particularly stressful during rush hour, you might also enjoy some time where you can relax instead of having to navigate through all the traffic! Many employers now run car-sharing schemes, which team you up with other people who are looking to share. Ask your boss if this is available. If not, you could even consider setting one up yourself.

Make a commitment to walking at least once a week

At this time of year, many people are starting to think about their big fitness goals. Though most people will have unfortunately thrown in the towel before January is out, there’s no reason why this has to apply to you. Why not make the commitment to walking to the shops or to your place of work at least once a week? This will be doable for many people, but it’s not so much that you’ll get sick of it within the first few weeks!

Keep an eye on fuel deals in your local area

Do you just go to the same fuel station every time you need to fill up, out of habit? Many people do, and they don’t realise that this could really push up their costs. Keep an eye on other suppliers, and you might find that you can get a much better deal. Of course, prices change on a regular basis, so don’t get too complacent. Though cost will be your main focus, don’t forget to consider the bonuses that you can pick up from certain providers. Supermarkets may offer loyalty points that you can use for your groceries when you buy their fuel, for example, and some independent filling stations have their own incentives. Try to think about the whole big picture when making your decision.

If you don’t keep a close eye on the costs associated with running your vehicle, you could end up spending much more than you initially planned. Being a little more savvy with your costs and expenses can make a huge difference, so never underestimate the power of doing your research and being in-the-know.