Ways To Save Money On Fuel Costs
Written by PayPlan on 27 May 2008
Fuel Prices Rise AgainWith oil prices soaring above $130 a barrel and the price of petrol rising at an increasingly astronomical rate, it may seem like there is little respite for motorists with the government’s proposed fuel duty increase of 2p per litre still on the cards – many motorists are struggling to put fuel in their vehicles already, as well as pay their priority bills and unsecured debts – however, there are several ways to save money on fuel costs.
Get the Cheapest Fuel at the PumpThe first of the many ways to save money on fuel costs is the most obvious, and that is to ensure that you’re buying the cheapest fuel (petrol or diesel) from the filling-station in the first place – visit www.petrolprices.com to find the cheapest petrol where you live.
Driving Savings on FuelSecondly, your driving technique and general attitude to driving can have a significant bearing on the cost of your monthly fuel bill. Here are 10 ways to save money on fuel costs (the Energy Saving Trust suggest as much as £120 per year can be saved on the cost of fuel), helping you beat the fuel price increases whilst at the same time doing your bit to save the environment:
10 Ways to Save Money on Fuel Costs
1. Watch the RevsKeep a watchful eye on your rev counter – change up a gear before you reach 2,500rpm for petrol powered cars and before 2,000rpm for diesel powered vehicles.
2. Quick, Slow, Quick Quick, SlowAvoiding sudden bursts of acceleration and irratic heavy braking is not only one of the ways to save money on fuel costs, but it also reduces the likelihood of having a serious road traffic accident. The rule is to always look ahead and anticipate the road conditions, allowing you to drive smoothly, accelerate gradually and use the engine to slow down where appropriate.
3. How Cool Are You?Especially during the summer months, it’s tempting to stay cool in your car by reaching for a switch and turning on the air conditioning. However, air conditioning uses a significant amount of fuel. Ask yourself, do I really need to turn the air conditioning unit on? Surely it’s more ‘cool’ to save money on fuel?
4. Go Slow!Driving at the most efficient speeds can make an enormous difference to the amount of fuel that your vehicle will consume and it’s one of the easiest ways to save money on fuel costs. Depending on the make and model of car that you own, speeds between 45 – 55 mph are generally considered to be the most efficient for your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Of course, this shouldn’t mean that you drive more slowly when it’s not appropriate or safe (eg on motorways). Driving at speeds faster than 55 mph will increase you cars fuel consumption significantly.
5. Get Your CoatNever turn the engine on and leave the car running to warm the car’s interior whilst you go back indoors to enjoy a cup of tea. Leaving your car to ‘idle’ in this way not only wastes valuable fuel, but also causes rapid wear and tear to your vehicle’s engine. Wear more clothes – drink less tea!
6. Rocket ScienceAssuming that you understand the basic physics behind the design and shape of a space rocket, then you’ll understand that causing unnecessary drag on a moving object will require a greater force for it to move in a particular direction, and consequently, more fuel – this is the reason why we don’t see space rockets fitted with bike-racks, roof-racks or roof-boxes. Therefore, if you’re not using such accessories, remove them from your vehicle to reduce weight and drag, increase fuel efficiency and save you money.
7. Get Some Exercise!When your car’s engine is cold, it burns up to twice the amount of fuel as a warm engine does. Consequently, if you take the easy option for short journeys by jumping straight into your car, rather than walking, cycling or using public transport, you will not only damage your bank account further by using unnecessary fuel, but you will miss a simple opportunity to contribute to reducing your carbon footprint on the environment, as well as getting a little exercise!
8. Use the Local MediaAlways plan your journeys before setting off. Check your local newspapers, local radio stations or use the Internet to find out about any serious congestion, road works or road traffic accidents. At the risk of stating the obvious, carrying a map with you in your car at all times will prevent you from the extra miles that are covered in the unlikely event that you should get lost – and, if you’re lucky enough to have one, don’t rely completely on your satellite navigation system to get you to where you want to be via the most appropriate route either.
9. InflationReduced tyre pressure can cause your fuel consumption to increase by as much as an estimated 5%. Again, this is one of the simplest ways to save money on fuel costs – check your tyres weekly and keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications.
10. Still Not Moving?At traffic jams, road-works and any occasion when you and your vehicle are stationary for longer than 2-3 minutes, save fuel by simply turning the engine off at the ignition.
Free Budgeting and Debt AdviceIf you’re struggling with the recent petrol price increases and you’re unable to pay your monthly bills as a result, Payplan can offer free debt advice by phone on 0800 280 2816 or online using their quick contact form for immediate money advice
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