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Seven easy tips to quickly cut your motoring costs

Updated on November 23, 2009

What you can do to save money on your car expenses today.

With fuel costs on a seemingly inexorable upward trend we all need to look at ways to decrease our consumption and keep the cost of getting from A to B manageable. While the longer term will no doubt see many of us owning fewer and smaller more efficient vehicles I'm concentrating in this hub on easy tips you can implement to save money today with the vehicle you drive now.

  1. Ok, number one is something of a no brainer. Drive less! However, there are ways of achieving this beyond simply not driving sometimes. Take a look at your routines and figure out if there are opportunities to reduce your mileage by combining some trips or changing your route. Can you change the time you do some of your trips to avoid traffic and inefficient stop-start driving? Are there some journeys you could cut out altogether, maybe some a walkable?
  2. The big way to achieve point one; car sharing. Look around on your next auto commute at the number of vehicles occupied by the driver alone. Many of them duplicating, for a large part, identical journies. With a bit of organisation amongst work colleagues there is huge potential to reduce your mileage and hence car running expenses by sharing.
  3. Lighten you load. Are you driving your vehicle around all week loaded up with stuff you only use at the weekend? Keeping your car tidy will save on fuel costs as removing the extra weight of a set of golf clubs, for instance, will help improve your fuel efficiency.
  4. Streamline your ride. Auto designers go to a lot of effort to make vehicles reasonably aerodynamic. Then we go and stick accessories all over them runing all the design work! The less resistance your vehicle presents towards forwad motion the less fuel you'll have to pay for. So if you're driving around with roof racks on your car that get used on the odd weekend only get them off and save some dollars on gasoline!
  5. Shop around. For everything! Be a price sensitive consumer and look for the best deals on not only filling up your car, but insuring your vehicle, parking costs and routine maintainence. Motorists are a big market so there is a lot of competition which you should be encouraging to your advantage! Look out for coupons and offers too with discounts that can help save you money.
  6. A well maintained car is generally more efficient so apart from obvious safety issues it also pays from a fuel efficiency perspective to keep your vehicle properly serviced. One area and motorist can easily keep an eye themselves with big dividends is your tyres. Check tyre pressures regularly to ensure they are correct as this can have a big impact on your car's fuel efficiency. Also look at getting your tyres rotated when some signs of wear become apparent as this isn't usually even across all tyres and swapping your wheels around can extend the life of your tyres.
  7. Drive calmly. Slow down, take it easy, cruise along happy knowing your burning less gas per km than the cars overtaking you just to get there a few minutes earlier. If you see a red light up ahead take your foot off the gas, why accelerate only to stop? The smoother you can make your driving the longer each tank of fuel will last you.

Implementing common sense tips along these lines can quickly help you save money by reducing your day to day motoring costs. Not only is that good for your wallet but some of these changes can also benefit your health and help torwards reducing your carbon footprint. A win win win situation!

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