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The Bargain Hunter

Is your car seat covered?

Drivers beware — your child car seat may not be covered by your car insurance policy. Research from Defaqto shows that one in four car insurance policies offers no protection for child car seats while fewer than half will pay out the full cost of a replacement. And costs can soon add up: the child car seats that are currently on the Which? Best Buy list range from £80-£409, but prices will vary among retailers. The good news is that some manufacturers such as Maxi-Cosi and Kiddy will offer a child car seat replacement service if it’s been damaged in an accident. Both schemes require you to submit evidence of the accident, including a police report and insurance report within a specific time period.

Don’t be in the dark about energy usage

From September 1, halogen light bulbs will no longer be manufactured. But don’t panic, they use around ten times the amount of energy of LEDs, so it makes financial sense to swap them. Philips LED bulbs, for example, last up to 15 times longer and use up to 80 per cent less energy. So, how much can we actually save? On average, a UK home has ten halogen bulbs on for 2.7 hours a day. Check out the Philips LED savings converter at The average household can save a minimum of £112 a year. That’s enough to afford two weeks’ grocery shopping.

Pick up a bargain when travelling

Travltalk ( is a new free travel app which puts you in touch with fellow travellers and lets you buy or sell items that are no longer needed, such as bikes or surf boards, instead of paying to hire them. You can also find people who want to split the cost of a ride when travelling to a festival, or to the beach for the day.

No sweat, man

Blowing hot air? With warm conditions set to continue throughout this week, Halfords is offering motorists free air conditioning checks on their car’s refrigerant levels at over 300 stores across the country. Drivers can just turn up at the nearest participating store, where they will give your air conditioning a once over to keep you cool.

Get rewarded to ignore your phone

According to an LSE study, students who didn’t use their smartphones at school saw a 6.4 per cent increase in their test scores. Earn rewards for ignoring your phone with the free Hold app, and get discounts on cinema tickets, free popcorn and coffees, Amazon vouchers and other perks. UK university students using Hold acquire points for every 20 minutes they don’t use their mobile phone, between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week. Available on Android and iOS.

Make a saving by booking camping direct

If you are already planning next summer’s camping holiday, save a few pennies and book directly with the campsite, rather than through companies such as Eurocamp. You could save more than you think.

Cash incentive from your motor

The average car is sat idle more than 95 per cent of the time. But Drivy ( offers a cheaper alternative to transport for those who only need a car on occasion and enables others to make money from something they’re not using. Similar to the concept behind Airbnb, the peer-to-peer car rental service has two million users and 50,000 cars in six countries. Drivy claims to be on average 30 per cent cheaper than traditional car hire firms.

Let your mobile help you manage your money

Want to stay on top of the best deals for your household bills? Download WonderBill, an app that connects your providers, manages your bills and alerts you to great deals for your gas, electricity, mobile, TV, landline and broadband. Available on the App Store or Google Play.