Some expenses in life just seem pretty much unavoidable. Food. Electricity. And, for most of us, fuel.
We use our cars every day to get our families to and from where they need to be, but with that comes the inevitable cost of keeping them moving.
The good news is, though, that there are some things you can do to reduce the amount you pay in fuel each fortnight – without resorting to a bicycle or carpool.
Buy the right size car for your needs
In general, bigger cars tend to go through petrol or diesel at a greater rate than their smaller, lighter counterparts. How big a car do you really need? Choose one that’s big enough for you, your family and all your gear – resisting the temptation to buy extra.
On the same note, try not to drive around with stuff you don’t need. The more you load your vehicle up with bags, bikes and equipment, the heavier and more expensive it will be.
Maintain a steady speed
Accelerating and braking gently, as well as maintaining a steady speed wherever possible, can help you save money. Overall, a ‘poor driving style’ is estimated to add about 20% to the amount you have to spend on gas, with petrol vehicles reportedly becoming the most fuel-efficient at about 70 kilometres per hour.
Limit your use of air conditioning
When you’re driving around town, you can save money by turning your air conditioning off and putting the windows down.
The trade-off to this is when you’re travelling at speed, such as on the motorway, open windows can actually make you less aerodynamic, increasing wind resistance as well as your fuel consumption. For the same reason, make sure you remove your roof racks on long journeys if you don’t need them.
Check your tyres
Soft tyres are more fuel-inefficient to power, and incorrect tyre pressures can increase your gas usage by about eight per cent. So check your tyre pressure regularly, and particularly before you set off on long journeys.
Make the most of the road
Ease off the accelerator as you crest a hill – you’ll notice your car’s fuel consumption drops right back if you start to coast on the downward slopes a little more. If you’re driving a manual, don’t push up the revs before you change gears; change to high gears sooner rather than later. You can also ease off the throttle to encourage your automatic to switch up.
Look for discounts
There are a number of petrol discount schemes in the market. If you sign up for the programmes at all your regular gas stations, you’ll usually get advanced warning of specials. If you make the effort to pay attention to the discount schemes and fuel up when a good deal is offered, you can save significant amounts of money.
Like to discuss your options?
If you are looking for a car loan to buy your next set of wheels – whether that’s a fuel-efficient runabout or a more thirsty V8 – and would like to learn more about your options, please get in touch. You can call the team at AA Finance on 0800 500 555, seven days a week between 9 am and 5 pm.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure the content is correct, the information provided is subject to continuous change. Please use your discretion and seek independent guidance before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.