Although driving costs have gone up, you can fight back against these escalating expenses and save money on your driving costs. While we frequently can’t avoid using a car, especially when it comes to commuting to work or doing weekend chores, there are ten proactive measures we can take to reduce driving costs.
1. Buy a Hybrid Car
Can you really afford to drive a car that guzzles gas? In the long run, that big pickup truck or that sporty SUV will cost you a huge chunk of your annual salary. If you can shift your paradigm, then you’re on the right track with dealing with our current economic challenges and save gas. Think of four cylinders instead of six; or, better still, consider a hybrid vehicle. Imagine how your personal economy will improve if you can slash your gas consumption in half. Today most car companies offer cars that run on both gas and electricity.
2. Shop for Cheaper Car Insurance
There are two ways to save on car insurance. The first is to shop around and find the best insurance companies for your needs. The second is to get special insurance deals by insuring your car and your home with the same insurer.
3. Pay Less Parking Expenses
If you have to pay for parking on a regular basis, then it is well-worth your time to find either a cheaper place to park and walk a little more or get a contract for long term parking from an underground parking complex.
4. Plan Your Trips
There are a number of ways to reduce your use of your car. One way is to walk, bike, or take a bus whenever you can. Another way is to plan your trips ahead of time so that you can combine your errands.
5. Consider Carpooling
You can carpool to work with your colleagues and you can carpool with your neighbours, friends, and relatives for shopping and driving chores.
6. Warm up Your Car Correctly
On a cold day, don’t do what everyone else does to warm up their cars: allow the engine to idle. This is an urban myth. Your car will actually warm up better and faster by driving it slowly for the first mile. Every 15 minutes of idling wastes at least a litre of gas.
7. Rethink Your Gas Choices
There are three ways to rethink the choices you make about your gas consumption: one, find a cheaper gas station; two, use a cheaper type of gas; and, three, learn the best way to fill up a tank.
Since gas companies compete against each other, prices fluctuate. Many companies make their profits by reducing prices to attract more customers. By shopping around you can find these cheaper gas stations. Use online resources to find cheap gas stations in your neighbourhood.
Next, consider the type of gas you use. Unless you have a high- performance engine, the manufacturer recommends that you only use premium gas, or your engine knocks, there is really no need for you to consider high octane gas.
Finally, while filling up a tank is a simple enough task, you waste gas when you top up your tank on a warm or hot day. This is because gasoline expands and overflows. So fill up your tank according to weather conditions rather than personal preferences.
8. Improve Your Driving Habits
While you may be an excellent driver, there are many things you can improve your driving to improve fuel economy.
• Avoid accelerating unnecessarily; instead accelerate gently and only when necessary. Acceleration puts a demand on the engine to consume more gas.
• By driving at a consistent speed, you may double your fuel consumption. Don’t drive too fast or too slow. Did you know that driving at 70 mph rather than 50 mph can increase gas consumption by as much as 30%?
• Keep an eye on traffic, anticipating congestion and traffic signs. Instead of driving at full speed and then slamming on the breaks when you need to slow down or stop, anticipate what is coming up ahead.
9. Improve Stick Shift Driving Habits
If you drive a stick shift because you want to save on gas and because you want more control of your car, here’s a valuable tip: drive in high gear when you can because it will consume 45% less fuel.
10. Take Better Care of Your Car
• Tune up your car. Poor tuning can consume 25% more gas.
• Keep your tires filled to the right pressure. Check weekly. Underinflated tires can consume more gas.
Specifically, every underinflated pound will reduce gas mileage by 6%. This means that if your tires are underinflated by 5 pounds, your gas consumption will increase by 30%.
• When you use steel-belted radials, you can improve gas consumption by 10%
These ten tips will go a long way to help you save money on your driving costs. What’s more, they are practical and easy to apply.