Steer clear of wasting money
CUTTING a car’s running costs is not just about chasing cheaper petrol.
The way you drive can potentially save several hundred dollars each year.
IT EASY Rapid acceleration and hard braking are fast ways to waste petrol. Research shows that driving aggressively can increase your fuel usage by up to 33 per cent.
Slowing down on a freeway may not impress drivers behind you, but the RACQ says it will use a lot less fuel. “Travelling at 90km/h rather than 110km/h reduces fuel use by up to 25 per cent,” it says.
Driving smoothly will also reduce wear and tear on tyres, brakes and other parts, it says. LIGHTEN THE LOAD Spares Box managing director Leon Saliba says driving with a heavy load can add more than 5 per cent to fuel consumption, so empty your boot. Keeping tyres inflated correctly can reduce fuel consumption by another 6 per cent.
WAYS Keeping a car idling while waiting for someone is going to cost more than turning off the engine.
Research has found that it takes only 10 seconds of fuel restarting a car, but leaving it idling can burn more than a litre an hour.
IN THERE It may be tempting to turn off the aircon and wind down the windows, but if you are travelling faster than 80km/h it’s likely to be cheaper to keep the windows up, to reduce drag, and run the airconditioner instead.
IT CLEAN A cleaner car can save you cash. Saliba says washing it once a month will increase your car’s resale value and help prevent rust caused by contaminants.
Beatrice McBride, 23, says driving smoothly saves her $20 a week. “Spending less to keep my car on the road lets me spend more at the destination, wherever that might be,” she says. DRIVE A BARGAIN: Beatrice McBride, 23, is cool enough to know that airconditioning is a fuel guzzler. Picture: BOB BARKER