It is hard not to notice how much petrol your vehicle is going through. And it is not pleasant when you have to think about the costs when you are taking a drive. Many motorists may think that automobiles come with fuel settings and you cannot influence the consumption. This is not true as we will discuss below how you can reduce costs substantially.
Choose the Right Automobile
Before we go into various way of making your vehicle consume less gas we should talk about the choice of cars. From time to time SUVs gets very popular and you see a large one going past with only the driver in it right in the middle of a cosmopolitan city center. You cannot help but ask; does this person really need this huge and ugly thing that will drink petrol like nothing in this city?
We may be choosing our autos based on what we like and not what we need. In fact, our decisions may be influenced by the type of message we want to send out. Simply, we want what smiths’ have as we cannot be seen left behind. We keep throwing money into things that we really don’t need until one day we realize we don’t have much savings to rely on in cases of crises or we haven’t saved enough for retirement.
It is natural that you would like a certain type of car model or brand. This could in fact be a SUV and yet you can make a smart purchase. These days you have plenty choices in terms of auto body and engine size. A car you like comes in various sizes and models. For example, you may like SUV and BMW. Going for X5 will cost you a lot more money and petrol in the long run since it has a bigger body and engine compared to one lower model of X3. If everyone could lower their engine size only one notch the world would be a cleaner place.
While we are on the subject of saving money with our auto choices we cannot pass without mentioning insurance costs. Generally, safer cars cost less to insure and engine size affects the rates. Another benefit of safer cars is of course better protection for your family. If you can get $30 a month premium savings and keep the vehicle for 6 years you would have saved $2,160 in that time. It is not bad at all.
Cut Out Unnecessary Driving
The second most effective way of controlling car running costs is by reducing the yearly mileage. It is convenient to have a car and we may be taking it beyond its economical use. There are simple ways of reducing gas by driving less. We don’t walk or cycle anymore because of over reliance on automobiles. It is healthier to walk or cycle a little for short distances.
Think before grabbing the keys and walk towards the car. Do you really need to make this journey? Planning helps in this aspect. When you go to drop children to school or practice you can plan ahead to get your grocery shopping done on the way as well. By making a shopping list you can purchase what you need for the week and avoid keep going back to the stores. In addition, sharing a ride and using public transport wherever possible will help as well.
There are plenty other ways to control the costs of auto ownership. Here are some of them;
Auto Maintenance Related Savings
1. Correct tire pressure is known to reduce petrol use. Under inflated tires cost you more money and result in premature wear and need to replace them earlier.
2. Regular auto maintenance is known to be cost effective as it reduces fuel usage and mechanical breakdowns. Dirty oil and blocked filters clogs the engine and increase fuel waste. A few other things that are done during regular maintenance like auto alignment help the engine operate smoothly and efficiently.
3. Keep an eye on engine and other mechanical problems. A vehicle with mechanical problems acts like a sick human being. It fails to adjust gas intake and throws out more than usual.
Driving Habits Affect Fuel Usage
1. Try to drive at a higher gear wherever possible. Using a lower gear at high speed can cost you a lot more extra gas.
2. Driving at speed limits helps the traffic and saves you money especially on highways. You can save as much as twenty percent by traveling at 70 mph instead of 50 mph.
3. Watch the traffic ahead in order to cut out unnecessary braking and exhilarating and keep your speed. Braking and exhilarating often cost you a lot more petrol. You should accelerate gently, brake gradually and avoid stops.
4. Try to avoid driving during rush hour traffic in which you will have to stop and go all the time.
5. When approaching steep slopes, accelerate before the hill. Accelerating once on the slope will consume much more gas.
6. There is no need to let autos idle for more than thirty seconds even on cold mornings. Letting your automobile idle longer is a waste of gas. Also, it is more efficient to turn off engine and turn it on again than to let it idle for more than forty seconds while waiting. New cars are designed to be driven almost immediately and some turn off automatically when you are idle.
7. Always choose the better roads. Driving on dirt roads and side streets results in lower fuel economy compared to straight and faster roads.
8. Use cruise control to maintain a steady pace on the highway to increase fuel economy.
Other Factors Affecting Car Fuel Costs
1. Always keep an eye on prices at the forecourts. Usually, drivers have three or four petrol stations near vicinity of their homes or work. Buying from the cheapest supplier can save you $5-$10 at each full tank filling.
2. Purchase your gasoline when it is cold outside in the early morning or at night, not in the heat of the day. Gas becomes denser in cooler temperatures. You will get better overall gas mileage for your money since gas pumps only measure the volume of fuel, not the density.
3. Your car isn’t a storage space. Remove all excess weight that slowing down your automobile and costing you money. Unnecessary weight reduces fuel efficiency that is why new model automobiles are lighter.
4. Don’t use air conditioning if possible. Air conditioning reduces fuel economy by ten to twenty percent.
5. Keep windows closed when traveling at high speeds. Open windows on highways can reduce fuel efficiency by ten percent. It is much better to use the ventilation system.
6. Remove auto racks and other items which make it less aerodynamic when they’re not being used.
If you want proof that these methods work, check your fuel consumption per mile within the next week. Then, implement these changes and measure how much you can reduce the costs. Seeing is believing and you will be surprised how little things can make huge difference. If you only can save $20 a week this will make over $1,000 a year.
Car Insurance Discounts
While we are on the subject of economizing money why not have a look at auto insurance savings? Again there are many ways of reducing your premium down but that is a discussion for another day. However, you should remember that you can save as much as forty percent by shopping around for cheap auto insurance quotes.