It seems like keeping a car on the road is an ever-increasing expense! Fuel, tax and insurance costs appear to increase on an annual basis, and it is these increases that are causing scores of motorists to give up the idea of owning and driving their own cars anymore!
In some nations, such as the United Kingdom, diesel is now more-expensive to fill up with than petrol. Some car manufacturers have even taken the clever step of turning such an extraordinary change to their advantage by developing petrol engines that are more-efficient than their diesel counterparts.
But if you don’t have the money to go out and buy one of these brand new, super-efficient cars that manufacturers want you to buy, there are several practical steps that you can take right now to keep your existing motoring costs down to an affordable level.
Use cheaper forms of transport where you can
Just because you own a car, and it is sitting on your driveway as we speak, doesn’t mean that you have to drive it on a daily basis for all of your journeys!
For example, I live about 12 miles away from the nearest city. Whilst it is convenient for me to drive my car into the big smoke, I live near a train station which is only a 7-minute walk from my home! Going into the city by train would cost me significantly less than paying for fuel and parking fees.
Obviously if you have to travel a great distance somewhere, you will probably find it more convenient to go by car, especially if the equivalent journey by public transport would take much longer!
Maintain your car
You might dramatically reduce your motoring costs by skipping a service or oil change, but the truth is an inefficient engine will INCREASE your motoring costs!
All petrol and diesel engines need to be serviced according to their manufacturer’s recommended service intervals, so it is best to save up the money to pay for these services; trust me, your bank balance will thank you later!
Don’t carry extra weight
You don’t need to be an Einstein to work out that the more weight you are carrying around in your car, the more fuel your car’s engine will consume!
Any extra weight that your car has to carry around will mean that your car’s engine will have to work harder in order to maintain your desired speed. In order to lose some weight from your car, keep any heavy items at home that you don’t need for your journey.
Air conditioning or open windows?
There has been a huge amount of debate over at the Big Motoring World Facebook page as to whether keeping your windows open uses less fuel than keeping your air conditioning or climate control system on.
In an ideal world, you would just drive around with the windows up and only the fan on at a low speed, but as the temperatures outside start to rise during the warmer months of the year, you will need to cool yourself down.
I would personally keep the windows up and cycle the air conditioning on and off every 5 minutes, rather than leaving the air conditioning on permanently. Opening the windows won’t save fuel because you are increasing your car’s drag.