10 Smart Ways To Save Money On Fuel
Owning a car can be quite expensive. Fuel is one of the highest cost factors, especially for people who need their vehicle on a regular basis. However, the cost of fuel is controllable up to a certain extent. With 10 easy-to-implement tricks, you will be able to significantly decrease the fuel consumption, thus saving money.
Think about fuel consumption when you buy your vehicle
The first step in reducing fuel consumption is to consider the future costs when purchasing your car. Two major factors to consider when buying a car is the size of the engine, and the size of the car in general. Large engines deliver more power, and therefore fuel consumption is much greater. Often you will not need such power, and a vehicle with a smaller engine would do just as fine. Furthermore, a large car which is heavy will consume more fuel, since the engine will need to move a larger mass. For these reasons, you will want to consider what size of car you really need, and what engine size would be appropriate for the that size of vehicle. Additionally, your car dealer will usually have statistics available on fuel consumption for that particular type of car. If you have the possibility to select between multiple vehicles, it might prove to be beneficial to compare the average fuel consumption.
Do regular check-ups
If car parts start to become older and wear out, they might actually increase fuel (and oil) consumption. Therefore, you should have your car checked on a regular basis, and have old car parts replaced with new ones.
Keep the weight as low as possible
Additional weight in your car drives up fuel consumption. Many people use their trunks as trash collectors, leaving all sorts of heavy items in their cars, unaware that this is unnecessary. In stead, make sure that you keep your car as light as possible. You might even consider taking out the spare wheel. There are many alternatives available (such as special sprays) which can be used in the event of a flat tire.
Know when to shift gears
If you drive a manually shift car, you can safe fuel if you know when to shift gears. Usually, a car will consume more fuel with a high RPM (rotation per minute). For this reason, you can start saving money by shifting up your gear as soon as possible, and shifting down as late as possible. Generally try to keep your RPM as low as possible.
Turn off the engine
If you are not moving for more than one minute, it may be recommendable to turn off the engine completely. As long as the engine is running, fuel is being consumed, and turning off the engine may add to your fuel saving strategy. Also, in winter it makes little sense to turn on the engine and let it heat up the car while it is not moving; it is better to turn on the engine and immediately start driving.
Keep the vehicle rolling
When you are driving, look ahead to see what is coming. Your main goal is to keep the vehicle rolling as much as you can; “stop and go” consumes lots of fuel. If you notice that there is a red light coming up ahead, you may want to slow down slightly in the hope that the light turns green before you come to a full stop. Some people make it a sport to rush from one red light to the other. This consumes lots of fuel and is not recommendable.
Sometimes it may be fun to drive in a very sporty way, accelerating and driving fast. However, this driving hardly saves any time, and certainly does not save money. Try to drive as smooth as you can, accelerate gently, take the curves gently. Additionally this would significantly reduce the risk of getting involved into an accident.
Check your speed
Driving fast will increase your overall fuel consumption; the engine will operate at a higher RPM and the air resistance is greater. Driving at a moderate speed may greatly contribute to saving money on fuel.
Complete your tasks in one trip
If you have different tasks or business to complete on a day, try to complete them in one single trip. This way you can create a synergy effect; the total driving distance for this one trip is shorter than multiple trips, and you are saving time in the process.
Consider whether you need your vehicle at all
Some businesses can be attended without vehicle. It is sometimes astonishing how many people drive to the grocery shop around the corner with their card. In stead, you may want to consider walking or driving by bicycle. Also you may want to consider whether and when you can take public transportation. This also has additional benefits, such as not having to look for a parking space. Sometimes, in large cities taking public transportation is much more time-efficient than going by car.