The current cost of living means we’re all looking for ways to be efficient. The good news is that when it comes to driving, there are some small and simple steps that you can take.
There are lots of factors that impact how much we spend on our cars. Here are our top tips to help you be more efficient when you’re behind the wheel.
Stick to good habits
Faster speed acceleration goes hand in hand with guzzling petrol and diesel, so always keep a close eye on your speedometer.
Driving at a steady pace will help your fuel go further. Slow down gradually when you approach junctions, traffic lights, crossings, and roundabouts, and avoid harsh and sudden braking and acceleration where you can.
Make sure to drive in the highest possible gear for the speed you’re travelling at for added efficiency.
Plan your journeys and fuelling
Failing to plan is planning to fail! Check your journey ahead of time to see if there are any road closures or traffic jams so you don’t have to make any unplanned diversions and add extra miles and time to your journey. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you can drive safely and at the correct speed.
Compare fuel prices in your local area and fill up when you’re out and about to avoid making special trips to the filling station. Supermarket fuel stations are often cheaper than branded counterparts and you can fill up after your weekly shop. Some also offer loyalty points and rewards as an added bonus.
Lose the excess weight
The more packed your car is, the more fuel you use. Your car’s engine needs to work harder the more luggage, passengers and pets you’re escorting!
Before you travel, make sure you’re only carrying the essentials. Have a clear out of the boot to lighten the load, and remove top boxes, bike racks and trailers when they’re not being used.
Keep your cool
When the hot weather hits, having a cool car is essential for comfortable driving. But should you wind down the windows, or crank up the air conditioning?
Both have an impact on fuel consumption, but we can look at our speed to help us decide which is the better option for our pockets. As a guide, if you’re driving below about 45mph, having the windows open will provide you with the breeze you need. Above that, it’s best to turn to the air conditioning because of the drag effect of having the windows open.
To help keep your car cool when you’re out and about on a hot day, park in a shaded spot or garage, and consider investing in a windscreen sunshade.
Shop around for car insurance deals
When it comes to any regular outgoing it’s always worthwhile shopping around to check out your options. When it’s time to renew your car insurance, see what’s available rather than automatically renewing with your current provider.
Spend some time researching various providers to see whether they’ll bring extra value to you or your family.
Don’t let your tyres tire
Don’t underestimate the importance of tyres in helping your car run smoothly. They experience wear and tear every time you make a journey, and without them you wouldn’t go very far!
Make sure they’re inflated properly (you’ll find the recommended air pressure in your vehicle’s handbook), steer clear of dreaded potholes, and drive steadily on uneven terrains. When the tyres are tired, make sure you replace them.
Spread the cost
One of the most effective ways to dodge unwanted and unplanned repair costs is to invest in a car service plan. Regular maintenance will help prevent small niggles turning into bigger problems, reducing the risk of repairs that you haven’t budgeted for.