Cost saving tips for drivers
October 15, 2006
Save your finances from unnecessary stress by learning to cut costs. Here are some cost saving tips that are sure to help.
Driving habits that hurt your budget
Buying gasoline from the cheapest source can save you a little on fuel costs. But what would really make a significant dent in fuel expenses is a change in driving habits.
Avoid hard braking by keep your distance and rapid acceleration. The first thing foreigners notice about the Philippines is how Filipino drivers are on the road. Experts say a relaxed driving style can save up to 40 percent on fuel costs. That’s at least P640 per week for someone who drives from Quezon City to Makati City every day and who uses a car with a 1.6 liter engine. You can save up to P33,280 for one year on relaxed driving alone.
However, the Department of Energy also warns that a speed of below 75 kilometers per hour also wastes gas.
Properly inflate your tires
This saves fuel and extends the life of your tires. Low tire pressure can increase fuel consumption by three percent, the DoE says. That means you can be spending P2,500 more per year just because your tires are not filled properly. If you put that amount every year in a financial instrument that pays eight percent interest compounded annually, that’s equivalent to P15,839.82 at the end of five years. Not bad for just properly inflating your tires.
Don’t use your car as a mobile home
Get rid of unnecessary load in your trunk. The Gears and Pinions organization of mechanical engineers from the University of the Philippines says the more weight you put on your car, the more drag. The machine needs 10 percent more fuel to bring you from point A to point B.
Its easy to say you’ll remove last weekend’s strategic planning materials from the back of the car tomorrow when you aren’t so tired anymore, but if you forget, you’ll pay for that in gas consumption.
Premium gas is a waste of money
Use the lowest octane fuel allowed in your car. UP mechanical engineers say higher octane levels will increase speed but not mileage. However, beware of el cheapo gas stations especially in the provinces. A source from a car company says some engine troubles reported to them were due to diluted fuel.
Drive to the gas station early in the morning, when it is cooler. The energy department says you can load three percent to six percent more fuel in the morning than at noontime when the temperature heats up.
Follow regular maintenance schedule
Avoid unnecessary expenses, especially towing services, by religiously following your maintenance schedule. Towing services nowadays come at a costly P1,500 per tow. Some victims of car troubles are even more dismayed at the time lost and inconvenience.
Opt for a car with small engine
If you have a small family, go for small cars. For a family of five, the perfect cars are those with 1.1 liter to 1.3 liter engines. Better yet, says one INQ7.net editor, leave the car at home if possible. It takes some adjustments, but with rising gas prices, it makes more sense to use the Metro Rail Transit and walk to home or office or school — if possible.
- From the "Take Charge of Your Money" series published on http://business.inq7.net/money/.
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