The price of buying a car is one of the bigger outlays most of us will make, but the ticket price of the vehicle we buy is likely to be small potatoes compared with the cumulative expense of putting fuel in its tank over the years. Although prices at the pumps can yo-yo up and down depending on the effects of shortages or unseen events like a pandemic, it’s well known that finding money to keep the car on the road is essential.
This is one fact that will remain true even once we have all transitioned to renewable-fuel vehicles, although recharging is likely to offer a big saving. For those of us who are yet to make the change to a greener drive, there are still things that we can do to ensure that we are doing less damage to the planet, and to our bottom line, by ensuring we have to fill up less often. Below, we will go into just a few of those.
Stay off the accelerator
Yes, we all have places to go and we want to get there soon, so it is common enough for us to use the accelerator whenever the opportunity presents itself. It may seem logical to do so, but this logic only holds if you are driving on straight-line roads without any other cars or indeed traffic controls. The problem with accelerating too often is that, as soon as you encounter a corner, another driver or a traffic light, you’ll have to slow down, and that means getting on the brakes, wasting any kinetic energy you have built up. More importantly, it wastes fuel too, so use the momentum you have built up to keep your accelerator foot light.
Don’t carry unnecessary weight
The boot of your car is an essential part of the vehicle, allowing you to transport items such as shopping, luggage and tools from A to B. However, most motorists will agree that the boot often becomes a repository for items we don’t want to lug to and from the car when necessary. Heavy items are often just left in there, but the fact is that if your car is carrying more weight, it will require more energy to travel at the same speed (that’s just physics). If something doesn’t need to be in the boot, don’t have it in there. If you travel light, you’ll travel cheaper.
Look after your tyres
There are advantages to running a car with tyres inflated to a lower pressure than recommended. The ride will usually be more comfortable and, in the winter, it also offers better grip on the road.
However, the disadvantages are considerable and there is a reason it is recommended that you drive with higher pressure. For one thing, it protects the wheel against the threat of potholes. For another, it lowers fuel usage. If you find that you are consistently losing pressure, then seek out a car repair garage for tyres; it’s important for fuel efficiency, but it’s even more important for driver and passenger safety. Low tyre pressure increases friction, which can lead to premature wear and eventual blowouts.
If you find that you are spending more than you would wish to be on fuel for your car, consider the above points. You could save yourself some money and, all the more importantly, have additional benefits for your car.