If there’s one thing everyone knows about owning a car, it’s that it’s going to be expensive. While the cost of insurance, repairs, and general maintenance are always going to tax your budget, there is one consistent cost that every car owner has to face: fuel.
Petrol and diesel are expensive. Though the prices fluctuate, you’re still going to be looking at a large expense every time you want to fill your tank. Given that there’s little point in owning a car without paying to keep its tank topped up, it can feel like you’re trapped by the need to pay that price. If you’re going to be a car owner, you simply have to accept that there will always be a consistent flow of funds from your wallet to the petrol station forecourt owner.
While there’s some truth to above conclusion, you have more control than you may have originally anticipated when it comes to the amount of your hard-earned cash that you have to spend on fuel. With the right economy driving techniques, you can substantially reduce your expenditure— but which of the many touted economy driving techniques actually work? Let’s find out…
#1 – Reduce the weight
This is simple physics: the more weight you have in your vehicle, the higher your fuel costs will be. Remove all but the most essential items from your vehicle to keep the costs down.
#2 – Roll to a stop
When prioritising economic driving, you should seek to roll to a stop by removing your foot from the accelerator rather than using the brake. This is a great money-saving technique, but there are a few safely precautions you need to keep in mind. When stopping in this way, the car behind you has no direct way of knowing you are stopping beyond their own perception; if that driver isn’t paying attention, you could find yourself in a rear-end collision. To prevent this, lightly brush the brake a few times with your foot, just enough to turn your brake lights on momentarily.
#3 – Accelerate and use your gears correctly
If you push the pedal to the metal every time you want to accelerate, you’re wasting fuel. Acceleration should ideally be as gradual as possible, gently increasing the speed as you move through the gears. Talking of the gears, it may be worth trying to change up a gear earlier than you usually would. This may go against some of your instincts as a driver, but it can be surprisingly effective when it comes to trying to reduce your fuel expenditure.
#4 – Use your air conditioning at the right time
Many people believe that air conditioning will cost them more money than rolling the windows down, but this isn’t always the case.
- At low speeds, it’s more cost-effective to roll your window down than to use your air conditioning.
- At high speeds, it’s more cost-effective to use your air conditioning. Rolling the window down increases drag, which you’ll have to pay more in fuel to compensate for.
If you adopt the economy driving techniques mentioned above, your vehicle running costs will greatly reduce. Your near-constant trips to the petrol station will be reduced, the fuel you do buy will go further, and the costs of owning a vehicle will be that little bit more manageable.