With household budget’s being squeezed, families are looking for new ways to cut down on their outgoings. The good news is that you can save money on fuel. If you frequently drive, these handy tips can lead to substantial savings each month, allowing you to spend more on the things you love or save up that extra cash for a rainy day.
Fuel’s not only an issue for individuals, rising costs are having an impact on businesses too. In fact, fuel management can account for around a third of running costs within a typical fleet. Taking steps to cut how much fuel you use, whatever your circumstances, doesn’t have to be complicated. These six tips are the ideal steps for starting to reduce the amount of fuel you use on a daily basis.
1. Combine your trips
A bit of forward planning can really help you reduce the amount of fuel you use. When your car’s been parked for hours the engine cools down and it’s those first few kilometres that take up more gas to get everything warmed back up again. Of course, it’s not possible to combine all your daily trips, but doing all your errands in one go rather than with breaks in between could save you money.
2. Be mindful of rush hour
The frustration of dealing with busy roads and traffic isn’t the only reason to avoid rush hour – it costs you more on fuel too. Stopping, starting and shifting gears uses up far more fuel than a smooth, consistent drive. Avoiding rush hour could save you some serious cash. Where you need to travel at peak times being aware of traffic can help. Anticipating when you’ll need to slow and travelling at a steady pace can reduce the amount of fuel you use when compared to quickly accelerating and breaking.
3. Give your car a clear out
At times, we’ve all carried around some unnecessary weight in our cars, from forgotten about items in the trunk to an empty rook box, it’s time to give your car a clean. The extra weight means your car needs more power to go. It might be a task you’ve been putting off, but shifting those items you don’t need to hand all the time can have a big impact.
4. Check your tire pressure
Basic maintenance of your car can mean that it’s more economical to run and that includes maintaining the right level of tire pressure. As the pressure drops, more fuel is needed. The optimal pressure is usually listed near the lock of the driver’s door if you’re not sure what it is. Tire pressure usually decreases slowly, but checking them every two weeks or so is all that’s needed – your wallet will thank you.
5. Have your car serviced
While we’re on the subject of vehicle maintenance, a car service could be exactly what you need. Issues such as bad wheel alignment or dirty filters can mean that you’re using more fuel. Even tires that aren’t inflated properly can mean using 3% more fuel than you usually would. A service might mean an initial outgoing but it can save you money over the long term because your car will be running smoothly and operating more effectively.
6. Close your windows
On a warm summer’s day driving with your windows rolled down is a great feeling, but it’ll cost you. Open windows create drag, making your car work harder to reach speed. Cars that are sleek in design are naturally better when it comes to fuel economy, and if you close your windows you can preserve the design. When the hotter months arrive and you need some cool air circulating through your car, turning the air conditioning on actually uses less gas than opening your windows.
By taking all the right steps to optimize how well your car runs, you can expect to improve your fuel economy by up to 25%. When you consider that the average American uses 656 gallons of gas every year, amounting to around $1,400, you could make huge savings.
Sarah Wilkinson, Global Communications Coordinator at Chevin Fleet Solutions – a worldwide leading provider of fleet management software – has produced several articles within the fleet industry, both internally and externally. After graduating from Bournemouth University, where she studied Communication and Media, Sarah has written for a number of PR and Marketing agencies across the country.