Driving a car is one of the most practical and liberating aspects of day-to-day living, but it’s also expensive. You can reduce car costs with several nifty strategies from what you wear to where you fill up on fuel.
All it takes is a bit of know-how and ‘Thrifty’ as your middle name. And given that the pandemic has turned things upside down, who knows, lifestyle changes could become the new way to save. After all, a few dollars in your account rather than out sounds like a neat idea.
This is why we’ve decided to do the legwork and compile a quick list of ways to save money on car expenses this winter.
1. Reduce car costs through smart driving habits
Back in the nineties, winter meant cars needed ‘warming up’ (how cute) before driving to keep the engine healthy. Modern cars don’t require this type of TLC, which is why you should avoid idling once the car is on.
In addition, practice these fuel saving tips (in winter and beyond):
- Reduce your speed. Driving slowly burns less fuel
- Close windows. At higher speeds, keeping windows closed reduces friction
- Remove roof racks. Unless you’re using them, remove anything mounted because it will cause drag and cost you in fuel
- Drive moderately. Don’t randomly accelerate and brake in a harsh manner
- Cruise control. Use it
You’re more likely to maintain an even speed on the highway, which is interestingly the most fuel-efficient way to drive. Keep this in mind at all those stop-start busy city intersections and try to accelerate slowly and brake earlier and smoothly.
Reducing any staccato driving habits can really reduce your carbon footprint too. Read up on these defensive driving skills that not only help keep you safe but help you drive well. Safer and smarter driving can only be a good thing for your fuel consumption and the environment.
2. Empty your trunk
Keep your trunk free of junk. A trunk can quickly end up filled with sports equipment you (or your kids) only use once a week, cooler bags, spare clothes, beach towels and shoes, and more. While this may be convenient, those added kilos will cost you more in fuel.
You might be thinking, well, surely the gain is so marginal it’s barely measurable. But just imagine if every driver in Australia cleaned out their trunk, the fuel saved would be exponential.
Read these car storage ideas that help you have a smoother trip.
3. Dress well
You know that pure wool jacket you never get to wear because it’s usually so hot in Australia? Now’s the time to wear it. Because even though temperatures seldom drop below five degrees, nearly all of us still pop on the heater on for early morning/evening drives.
A frugal approach to getting that toasty feeling is to wear that jacket you never get to wear, even if it’s only in the car! And perhaps your favourite ugg boots… And if anyone looks at your sideways while you’re out you can explain it’s for saving fuel and the environment *cough*.
4. Choose a good car insurance plan
PD Insurance offers three cost effective plans with plenty of benefits, optional extras and tailored discounts. For example, if you get a quote before your current plan expires, you’re eligible for an early shopper discount. And if you’re the only driver of your car, enjoy a much lower premium.
If you’re already a PD Insurance member (congrats), remember to always update us with any lifestyle changes. Because an insurance endorsement could save you money.
Reduce car costs this winter
Share your nifty tips on how to save money on car expenses this winter in the comments.