There’s no getting around the fact that driving is expensive. From petrol to tax, insurance and repairs, your car will most likely suck up a massive amount of money over the years. Or, at least, it seems that way most of the time. There are some ways, however, to save money on your driving by taking some approaches that will ultimately reduce your bills, while helping to boost your eco footprint. From better engine control and maintenance over secondary features in a car, through to considering the benefits of a hybrid vehicle, there are many ways to achieve this:
1 – Engine Control
It’s worth thinking about how you drive on the roads, and whether you waste petrol through some bad habits. You can save money by turning off your engine if you are idling or stopped in traffic for than a minute. Similarly, don’t over accelerate and sharply brake, even if it is enjoyable sometimes. When driving in traffic, try to keep a steady pace and don’t push through gears too quickly. Motorway driving should also be kept to a moderate pace, with about 55-65 mph the optimal speed to conserve fuel.
2 – Air Conditioning
The misuse of air conditioning is one of the surest ways to make your car work too hard, and to burn away petrol and a battery. Although you may just like to have the air conditioning going in the background, and especially during the summer, think about whether or not you actually need it. Can it be saved for short bursts, and can you achieve the same effects by opening the window when not on the motorway? Making these small changes can mean that you end up with a better fuel conservation rate over time.
3 – Stay On Top of Maintenance
You can save money over time by keeping to a regular maintenance schedule. While this shouldn’t mean going into the garage every few weeks, you should be attentive to different parts of a car. Check tyre pressure regularly, and ensure that there isn’t any significant wear and tear on the engine and the tyres. Over and under inflated tyres can particularly cause problems. You should also make sure that the engine is not leaking, and that braking fluid and coolant are at the right levels.
4 – Reduce Loads
An engine has to work harder if it’s pulling more weight. Boots full of unnecessary items are only going to increase drag, so think about clearing out everything but the essentials. This might be difficult if you need items for work, or if you’re travelling abroad, but try to be as ruthless as possible. The same rule should also apply to keeping roof racks installed, especially when they’re not in use. Racks and other attached items like flags create a lot of wind drag, and can increase your bills over time.
5 – Consider Hybrid Models
Another way to lower your bills and the overall running costs of a car is to invest in a hybrid car. These cars use an electric motor and a petrol engine, and can mean that you can better conserve fuel over time, while making savings on fuel emissions and road tax. Good examples of hybrid cars currently available on the market include the Toyota Prius.
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