We all love saving some money, regardless of how small it is, but when it comes to something like motoring, it just seems like we’ve been spending more and more in the last while, be it on tax, fuel or insurance hikes.
So here at The Filter we thought we’d compile a list of the very best motoring money saving tips and ideas to help get you through the financial bleakness that has been motoring over the past year or so.
1. Take The RPM Challenge!
Pick a low but realistic rev limit (maybe 2,000rpm for a diesel and 3,000 rpm for a petrol) and try not to exceed it. Try it for a week, you might be surprised by the results. Using this method and careful throttle application my weekly fuel bill went from €30 to €25 which equates to an annual saving of €260 or 17%! – Not bad eh!
2. Down With Drag:
We are divided on this one in the office but instead of filling your tank to the brim and driving like a mad man for the first 100 miles, try only putting in what you NEED for the next week and then you will be more inclined to be easy on the go pedal. Plus, you won’t be carrying around all that extra weight in fuel.
Rush hour driving crucifies your fuel consumption. Anyone commuting in and out of a city will be well aware of the massive difference leaving 10 minutes earlier can make when starting your journey, your boss will be impressed too! Your driving style can play an important role here as well. They key to good fuel consumption is maintaining momentum. Continually accelerating and braking uses more fuel than maintaining a steady speed so try leaving more space between you and the car in front and you should find yourself having to brake a lot less frequently.
5. Shop around for Insurance:
We know this one is obvious but a lot of people don’t do it, most likely because of the little bit of work involved. You can literally save hundreds from simply shopping around with different insurance companies. Just ensure you are receiving the same level of cover as before.
6. Don’t Coast:
A lot of people think that coasting or freewheeling is a great way to reduce fuel consumption, and in the past, it was probably true. Modern engines are now so frugal that when you lift off the accelerator they will not use a single drop of fuel and it is solely the momentum of the car which keeps the engine turning over. If you coast in a modern car you will be less efficient because the engine needs fuel pumped to it in order to tick over.
7. Levels & Pressures:
Having enough engine oil in your car is obviously essential, but be wary of filling the engine oil level up to the brim. All that extra lube doesn’t mean your engine will run extra smooth. Fill your engine oil to the recommended centre point on the dipstick and your engine will be perfectly lubricated and protected. Fill it to the top of the dipstick and all that extra oil creates unnecessary drag inside your engine as the reciprocating components try to move through the viscous oil.
Tyre pressures are another very simple thing you can check. Under inflated tyres create huge amounts of rolling resistance. Check your tyre pressures are at the manufacturer’s recommended pressures once a month – you might be surprised at how much air is escaping. (you can usually find the correct pressures for your car inside the fuel filler cap or in the owners manual)
8. Find a Mechanic you trust:
We have all dealt with chancers in every aspect of life. Speak to someone who maintains their car to a high standard and ask them for recommendations on a local mechanic. If your car is new and in warranty, chances are you’re bringing it back to the main dealer for servicing and repairs. Aftermarket garages can be just as good and just as qualified as the main dealer but may cost considerably less.
When comparing servicing costs, make sure you’re comparing like for like. A service in one garage may only consist of an oil and filter change whereas a service in another garage may include oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, pollen filter, screen wash or possibly even more.
9. Try Carpooling:
As much as we dislike the idea of carpooling it really does make so much financial sense. Carpooling could save you up to 75% on fuel costs and even more if you take into account tax, insurance and wear and tear if you’re in a position to take your own car off the road for a few months of the year. Plus you could even have an extra snooze on the way to work!
On the down side, you lose the freedom and personal sanctuary that your own car offers, you lose the option of singing out loud to whatever comes on the radio and you lose what most blokes seem to think is the best nose picking opportunity of the day.
10. Get Serious:
If you’re serious about getting the most from your car, there’s a wealth of knowledge available on the internet. Google ‘hypermiling’ and you’ll find loads of sites dedicated to extracting the absolute maximum from a tank of fuel. The ecomodder site gets into the real nitty gritty of hypermiling:
Some hardcore hypermilers are even driving in socks or bare feet so they can modulate the accelerator to the finest degree and save fuel!