Fuel prices are rising and have been for some time, unfortunately through a mixture of reasons, they don’t look to be significantly reducing any time soon. So are there ways to offset the rising fuel prices, through being more efficient and other methods, such as better cars and taking advantage of things like temporary car insurance instead of a bulky named drivers list.
Things you can start doing right now:
1. Consider your journey, is a car necessary, would walking be a better choice? If it is then consider your journey, depending on your car some routes may be better than others, it’s not just distance, things like hills and long waits at junctions also will have a negative impact on most cars fuel consumption.
2. Change how you drive, avoid unessential braking and acceleration, as the former wastes built up energy and the latter uses more than a constant speed does.
3. Keep the tyres pumped up right, an under inflated tyre uses more fuel than a properly inflated tyre, an over inflated tyre, wears badly, has less grip and is more prone to blow-outs.
4. Keep a note of where sells the cheapest fuel on your routes and top up there, rather than waiting till you run to low and are compelled to fill up somewhere more expensive.
5. Remove bike racks, roof racks etc. when they aren’t being used. As the extra drag they cause will decrease the fuel efficiency of your car, in some cases significantly.
6. Make sure you keep your car properly service.
When your car is next serviced:
1. Make sure they check everything, seemingly minor things like poor tracking and poorly fitting seals can negatively affect wear on other parts of the car or increase fuel consumption.
2. If the tyres are in need of replacement, then make sure you do, not only is this a legal requirement but it can affect you fuel efficiency, as well as the safety of your driving.
3. Chose replacement tyres carefully, different types of tyres have different effects on fuels efficiency and wear at different rates, if you don’t use your SUV off road then getting the road tyres on it can save you a lot in fuel.
4. Ensure you know when the next service is due.
When your insurance is due:
Consider other options, do you need a years insurance, would temporary car insurance do instead?
1. Shop around, compare the prices, going with the same people you’ve always used, even if they were the cheapest back then may well be costing you money now.
2. Consider a mileage limit, many people don’t drive their cars vast distances in a year and so can save by telling their insurance company how far they drive in a year.
3. All those extra people on your insurance who drive a few times a year, especially high risk groups like a student back from uni for the holidays, consider not putting them on the main policy and taking out temporary car insurance. Temporary car insurance is available online and in some cases can be got instantly or at very short, for a choice of time periods.
4. Are you just insuring the car to tax it for selling? Then why insure it for a year? Temporary car insurance in some cases can be used for purposes such as getting a car taxed and a MOT, but do check with the provider first as not all offers this service.
When you replace your car.
Replacing your car just to get one that is more fuel efficient is not usually economically sensible, the cost of a new car will likely wipe out any savings you make in fuel. But when you are looking for a new car then here are some useful things to look out for to save you money.
1. Hybrid technology, although it comes at a premium, if you drive an appropriate journey profile, generally low to medium speeds with plenty of stopping and starting then this can have great benefits.
2. Stop start technology, if hybrids aren’t what you want, then stop start, which turns off your engine at traffic lights, can save you money in town.
3. Diesel, if you drive long distances, particularly on motorways then a diesel engine is often the most efficient option and modern diesels are not the horrid rattley smelly things of the past.
4. Buy a smaller car, if you don’t regularly need the space, then why spend the money on the larger car with its bigger fuel bill? Buy a smaller car and if you need it hire a van or larger car.
5. When selling your old car consider getting temporary car insurance so you can tax it and get its MOT, though check the provider allows it.