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If you’re setting up your car loan, you’re probably thinking about how much it costs to run your car. Understanding your ongoing costs is an important part of building your budget and making your car loan affordable.
Making sure your car is as fuel efficient as possible is a great way to manage your ongoing costs. Fuel prices can fluctuate but you can keep your consumption under control by implementing some smart measures and controls.
We’ve gathered together 8 tips to help you run your car as efficiently as possible. Proper maintenance combined with some smart thinking can help you to lower or manage the cost of keeping your car on the road.
1. Look after your car
Properly maintaining and servicing your car is a great way to deliver optimum fuel economy. That includes checking and replacing your oil regularly and ensuring that essential pieces of equipment like spark plugs are firing properly.
2. Monitor and manage your driving technique
You might be surprised to hear that one of the most effective ways to manage fuel consumption is to manage your own driving technique. Driving at faster speeds consumes higher levels of fuel, as does aggressive acceleration. Be realistic about journey times and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Then you can travel at a slower pace and accelerate gently from a standing start. It could save you a considerable amount in fuel consumption.
3. Watch your weight
You might pile your car full of holiday gear when you go away, but do you always make sure you unpack it when you return? Your car’s fuel consumption can be reduced by controlling the weight of the car and making sure you avoid carrying unnecessary items around when they are not needed. Take the time to empty the car at the end of every journey and avoid unwanted fuel costs.
4. Park in the shade or in a garage
We all like to enjoy the optimum driving temperature and be as comfortable as possible when we drive from A to B. Air conditioning can be an expensive part of running your car, and getting into a hot car is going to require an icy blast to return it to a normal temperature. The solution? Where you can, park in the shade or in a covered parking area. If these aren’t available consider using a reflective windscreen shade that will reduce the increase in temperature in your car.
5. Maintain the best tyre pressure
If your tyre pressure is too high or low your fuel consumption can increase. Maintain optimum tyre pressure with monthly checks at your local petrol station. This will also help you to increase the life of your tyres and reduce the frequency with which they need to be replaced.
6. Avoid excess idling
If you need to wait at traffic lights or have got into the habit of running your car to warm it up in the morning, you might like to think again. Idling engines guzzle fuel, so cutting it out can make your car more efficient and reduce your fuel consumption. If you’re expecting to sit for a long time in traffic or at a signal, switch your engine off and restart when you’re ready to move. Modern cars don’t need to be warmed up before you drive them, and recommendations generally state you should drive within 30 seconds of starting the engine.
7. Cruise into fuel savings
Using cruise control on your car is a great way of managing the speed and therefore the fuel consumption of your car. While constantly accelerating and decelerating can be an inefficient way to drive, maintaining a constant speed is much more efficient. Just take care on mountainous or hilly roads where cruise control can become an inefficient option due to the need for heavy acceleration.
8. Don’t take the car
It might sound obvious, but a great way to reduce your fuel consumption is to carefully consider whether the journey you’re planning is one that needs to be taken by car. Leaving your car in the garage is a great way of reducing your fuel costs. Consider making the journey on foot, or whether it’s possible to car share or car pool to get there. Even if you’re taking your car, car sharing can offer you the chance to get a contribution to your fuel costs.
There are many ways of focusing on the fuel efficiency of your car. Setting aside time and funds for proper maintenance will save you money on running costs. And focusing on your own behaviours will help you to control your costs and avoid the impact of seasonal changes and your own driving behaviour.
If you need help setting up your car loan or building your budget you can contact the team at Enterprise Cars. We’re always happy to help you understand the numbers behind a car loan, and can tailor your loan to meet the needs of your budget.