How To Drive And Save Money
Driving a car costs money: That’s a given. That said, there is no point in spending money unnecessarily, which is why it makes absolute sense to economise in any automotive way possible. It won’t spoil the enjoyment of driving but it will save some of that hard-earned cash over time. Here’s a few of our ideas to help cut those motoring costs:
Hunt The Pump
Petrol or diesel, the cost per litre can vary enormously, even in local areas. It really does pay to shop around for fuel. That’s not to say the driver should travel miles to save a penny, but is there a fuel station en route to work, or the mall, that is cheaper than the one nearest home? It’s worth keeping an eye out. Look at this way: On a car with, say, a fifty litre tank that’s empty, a single penny a litre saves 50p for a fill-up. It all adds up.
Run An Efficient Motor
A very large percentage of drivers in the UK do not check their car’s tyre pressures regularly, which has a major impact on fuel consumption. A few psi short and the engine has to work harder to maintain the same progress because the tyres are soft. The result is less miles per gallon. Further, buying premium tyres may seem like an expense too far but quality will out and the best rubber will go miles further than the financially attractive (for which read ‘cheap’) tyres.
Leaving an unused roof box attached to the top of the car uses excess fuel. No matter how well-designed, it still creates drag and drag causes extra fuel consumption and that is, in itself, a drag. Carrying around unnecessary items in the boot adds weight too. Weight equals additional fuel consumption. That doesn’t include the children, obviously.
Poorly maintained vehicles cause not only more expense but also, in the worst case scenario, accidents. Even if you are lucky enough to stay clear of trouble, putting off maintenance is likely to greatly reduce your car's life span and increase fuel costs. Proper, regular attention from your local car servicing garage will ensure the car is using fuel at the optimum level and is safer too. If you leave these things until later small jobs can and will become big jobs.
The Car You Buy
Thanks to international regulations and the like, car manufacturers have pulled out all the stops to make their latest vehicles as fuel-efficient as possible. Diesel may be unfairly penalised these days but such engines are cleaner than ever and they can be very parsimonious with fuel. Petrol engines too have improved hugely in economy terms and now we also have mild-hybrids, full hybrids and electric cars, all going the extra distance. Think about economy when buying the next new car. There’s some great bargains around at the moment and, thanks to modern technology, buying an economical vehicle does not mean compromising on driving pleasure.
It’s not just about fuel economy either. Car insurance brands are in business to make money at the end of the day; that’s why premiums vary so much. Have a good shop around for the next insurance quote, using the popular comparison websites for example, or ring around individual companies.
When the next quote comes in from the existing insurance provider, tell them that a better quote is available elsewhere. See if that makes them find a little extra. The old days of brand loyalty have long gone. Thanks to the internet switching is easy and sometimes a lot of money can be saved.
A Light Right Foot
Gunning the engine upon start-up serves absolutely no purpose and idling wastes fuel. Try to drive off from cold as smoothly and steadily as possible; don’t go for the fast sprint straight away. When cold, engines are at their least efficient; let them warm up before using hard acceleration. These days they warm up very quickly anyway so it’s no hardship.
When on the road, don’t race about. On our busy highways it really is pointless anyway and just wastes fuel. Use a light right foot and feather the throttle more while always shifting to the optimum gear, keeping the engine revs modest. Save the accelerating for safe overtaking.
Motor vehicles are such an integral part of our lives these days that we tend to not give their use a lot of thought. We just get in and drive. Only after a while do we realise that fuel seems to be running low rather more quickly than expected. Follow these tips and save.