Lately, public transport is getting cheaper, but the price of fuel seems to be getting dearer. If commuting to work by train, bus or bike isn’t an option for you, then the only thing you can do is to look at ways you can reduce the amount of money spent on petrol.
Luckily there are lots of ways you can do this from buying an economical car, to changing your driving habits, and every little bit counts. We take a look at some cost cutting tips to keep your budget in check.
1. Get rid of your gas guzzler
It seems like a no-brainer, but a car that consumes a lot of petrol is going to cost you more at the pump. An older car or a car with a large engine isn’t going to save you money on petrol no matter how well you drive it. So you’d be wise to sell it and buy something more economical. Before you buy a replacement, do your research on what car best suits your needs and what will save you the most in petrol. Even if you have to spend a little extra now to get a more recent fuel efficient model, it will pay off further down the track.
2. Keep an eye on fuel prices.
RACQ have introduced a nifty online tool called Fair Fuel Prices which allows you to search for the service station with the cheapest petrol prices near you. Make sure you’re getting the best deal every time without having to drive around and double back to find the least costly option.
3. Drive wise
Apart from sticking to the speed limit because, well, it’s the law, driving faster is not a good way to save petrol because it actually works your car’s engine harder. For every kilometre per hour that you drive over the limit, you’ll use more petrol, but if you stick to the limit, it will only use as much as it needs to. If we’re being honest, getting a speeding ticket won’t help your finances either.
4. Fill up at night
Petrol is a liquid and liquids expand when they get hot and shrink when they get cold. If you fill up in the heat of the day with a litre of petrol, by the evening, it could very well only be 0.9L. Get what you pay for and keep that extra 1L by filling up at night or when it’s cool.
5. Plan your trips
You probably know about a service station where you can fill up with petrol that’s cheaper than your local servo. Often it’s less convenient though, so you don’t bother and end up paying more. Planning where you will fill up with petrol and the most direct route to your destination can make a big difference to how much you spend. Drive outside of peak traffic times by leaving the house for work earlier or leaving later at night.
6. Watch your revs
It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you’re driving, and one that could cost you at the pump is waiting at the lights and revving your engine ready to accelerate. Every unnecessary rev will use petrol, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of putting your car in neutral while sitting in traffic or at the lights. It might take you a bit longer to start off, but you’ll use less petrol.
7. Service your car regularly
Cars are like teeth, the more you have them serviced, the less money you’ll spend in the future. A regular car service can pick up potential problems that might cause you to pay more for petrol than you have to. Even slightly flat tyres can cost you up to 6% extra on your petrol.