7 Ways to Lower Your Fuel Cost and Increase Your Travel Distance
Tips to Help You Keep More Money in Your Pocket
All motorists are concerned by the cost of fuel. For fleets, fuel costs are one of their largest expenses. For commuters, fuel is a major cost in their daily lives. For families, every dollar spent on fuel is a dollar less to spend on food and vacations.
These seven fuel-saving tips will help you increase your travel distance and lower your fuel costs.
1. Slow Down
According to the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, the best speed to improve your fuel economy and lower fuel costs is 85kmph to 95kmph. Should you drive faster than this, your fuel cost starts to increase rapidly. At 120kmph, you’ll spend 40% more on fuel.
2. Check Your Tyres
Check your tyre pressure at least once a month and make sure they are at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You’ll find this on the tyre placard on the inside of the door jamb or in the owner’s manual.
Also, check your tyre tread regularly. The legal minimum is 1.5mm and you should never let it fall below this level. Most tyre manufacturers recommend that you change tyres every five to six years irrespective of tread depth. The shallower the depth, the more dangerous it is to drive – and poor tread depth also increases fuel costs.
3. Use Your Momentum
Momentum can become your best friend in the strive to lower your fuel costs. When approaching inclines, speed up to help build the momentum that will help you travel to the top with less revving of the engine. Use momentum to drive downhill, and instead of braking hard into corners, at junctions, and at traffic lights, ease off the accelerator earlier and brake more gently. Not only will you save fuel, you will also save wear on your tyres.
4. Read the Road
Paying attention and reading the road ahead is a simple way to reduce your fuel costs. By seeing obstacles ahead of time, and anticipating corners and changes in the road, you reduce your need for harsh braking and accelerating – and as I discussed in the paragraph above, this is good news for your tyres, too.
5. Reduce Your Weight and Don’t Fill Up!
Weight must be hauled. Lighter vehicles use less fuel to travel the same distance as a heavier vehicle. Remove all the junk you have collected in your vehicle. Make sure things that should be in the home don’t become permanent (and unnecessary) passengers. If you have a roof rack, remove it when not in use. It causes drag, and drag means you use more fuel.
One of the heaviest loads you carry in a vehicle is the fuel. It has been estimated that only half-filling the tank will save you around 1% to 2% of your fuel costs. The downside is more regular stops to add fuel.
6. Use a High Gear
The higher the gear, the lower your engine revs. Try to move your vehicle into high gear quickly (providing the speed limit allows it) to lower your fuel costs. Revving your engine too hard before shifting gear, and waiting for the high-pitched ‘cue’ from your engine is terrible for your fuel economy.
7. Don’t Use the AC or Open Your Windows!
With the weather in Brisbane getting above 30֯C in the summer, it’s only natural that you need to turn on the AC when driving. However, when the aircon is running you consume more fuel. Opening the windows also increases drag, and affects fuel consumption negatively. It’s a tough call to make. You don’t want to sweat and be uncomfortable in your vehicle, but you want to reduce your fuel costs – the answer is to be conservative with the air con.
Fuel costs are one of the major expenses for many people. Every dollar you save by driving more conscientiously and on well-maintained tyres at the right tyre pressure is a dollar you can spend on more important things than fuel.
The tips above are some simple ways to cut down your fuel costs. Most of them only require you to pay a little more attention to the maintenance of your car and the roads you are driving on.
Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.
Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,