The Courier-Mail

Steer clear of wast­ing money

- AN­THONY KEANE

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

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