Categorized | saving money

Drive & Save Money

The Drive to Save Money

Rising pump prices is not going to have an end. So what can you do to make your petrol bill smaller?

Service your car regularly

Keep your vehicle well-maintained so that it runs at peak efficiency. An inefficient engine cannot optimise the use of fuel, so don’t be stingy with this. Change parts like the air filter whenever the need arises.

Maintain correct tyre pressure

Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance. Keep them properly inflated according to the recommended pressure shown in the car manual. Car tyres inflated to the maximum recommended pressure can improve your mileage by as much as six per cent, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Avoid aggressive driving

Make it a habit to accelerate gradually from a stop and brake gently. Sudden accelerations, weaving in and out of traffic and hard braking waste fuel and wear out the brakes and tyres faster. Not only do you save petrol, it’s safer for everyone on the road.

Close windows at high speeds

Forget about driving down the highway with your hair blowing in the wind like in the movies. Keep your windows closed when travelling at high speeds. Open windows increase aerodynamic drag on the vehicle and lower fuel economy.

Turn off the engine

If you’re stopping the car for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Idling wastes fuel, gets you nowhere and produces unnecessary greenhouse gases.

Clear out the junk

Extra weight in the car means more fuel is needed. So clean out the boot and back seat if you are in the habit of using them as a mobile storeroom.

Plan your route

Organise errands so that they can be combined into one trip to cut down on driving. It’s even better if you can plan them in a continuous route instead of going in circles. You could also park your car in a central location and walk to nearby buildings to run your errands.

If you can help it, drive during less congested times of day. There’ll be less stop-and-go driving and you’ll have a more pleasant journey. Heading to a new destination? Consult maps or an in-car navigation system for the fastest way to get there instead of getting lost.

Get a hybrid

If you’re planning to change vehicles, consider a hybrid car? A hybrid car runs on a combination of petrol and electric power, which means it can travel greater distances on the same amount of petrol. It also produces fewer emissions.

Switch to lower octane fuel

Pricier high-octane fuel isn’t always necessary. Many cars are designed to use regular low-octane, so high-octane fuel doesn’t guarantee better performance. In fact, such fuels don’t provide any greater efficiency. Only high-performance vehicles such as turbo-charged vehicles and sports cars require 98-octane fuel.

Join a loyalty programme

If you faithfully give business to the same petrol company, sign up for their loyalty programme. Accumulated points can be used to redeem gifts, thus indirectly saving you money. Some banks have tie-ups with petrol companies that offer a discount when you pay for fuel with their credit card.

Adapted from The Straits Times (By Goh Mei Yi)

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