Spending on your car does not stop on your monthly amortization or even your gas allowance. AAA says in its Your Driving Costs study that a consumer spends around $8,700 a year on average on car expenses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the car is the second-largest purchase that consumers spend on every month. Imagine the things you could do with that $8,700 a year. How many years have you been driving your car? Add the total cost in your mind. Staggering, huh?
You can learn to change the engine oil. That will save you some bucks. You can even buy a tire-changing machine, so you don’t have to go to a mechanic to get your tires changed. You can offer to change tires for people in your street. That’s an additional income. But if there’s one place you should look into, it’s your fuel consumption. How much fuel is your car consuming?
Not only are you protecting yourself and property, but you’re also saving on insurance costs by simply driving responsibly. Aside from that, there’s also the added benefit of saving on fuel costs. Sudden braking, speeding, and rapid acceleration waste gas. Aggressive driving increases your gas usage by 33% for highway driving and 5% for city driving. Depending on how many miles you drive a year, you can save an average of $477 a year. Add to that the insurance costs you have avoided by not getting into an accident, and that’s good money right there.
Set the Cruise Control
If you’re driving on the highway and your car has cruise control, set the speed to 50 mph. Do not go over the 50 mph limit. Every time you do, you lose 20 cents per gallon of gas for every 5 mph you drive above 50 mph. In a year, that translates to $198 if you drive 60 mph normally on the freeway.
Drivers are so used to park and wait while the engine is running. If your wife is doing a “quick” grocery run, turn off the engine and walk around a nearby mall or go with your wife. There’s no use letting your engine burn gas when it’s not moving. Idling usually wastes half a gallon of fuel per hour. Restarting your engine will only cost about 10 seconds worth your fuel.
During winter, don’t leave it idling to warm up the engine. You can drive slowly for 30 seconds because the engine gets warmer this way. How much can you save? Around $160 if you keep the car engine idling for two hours a week.
Go for Fresh Air
If you can, open the windows and turn off the air conditioner. This will save about 25% of your fuel. Doing this at least twice a week (during weekends, for example) could save hundreds of dollars in a month. You can also choose to set the air conditioner at a higher temperature. This also increases the vehicle’s fuel economy.
These are some of the tips you can follow to save on your fuel expenses. Being practical with your fuel consumption shouldn’t be rocket science. Seeing those extra bucks in your savings account will make the sacrifice and inconvenience worth it.