1Watch that lead foot. How you drive can impact how much fuel your vehicle uses. Slow down, maintain steady speeds and avoid jack-rabbit starts and hard braking to use less fuel. A European study found rapid acceleration from stoplights and hard braking only saves you one minute for every half hour of travelling but results in a 37 per cent jump in fuel consumption.
2Avoid unnecessary idling. Don’t idle your vehicle for more than 30 seconds. Shutting off and re-starting the engine actually consumes less fuel than keeping your vehicle running while in park.
3Service your vehicle regularly. It may be tempting to hold back on your vehicle’s scheduled maintenance to save money, but that will end up costing more in the long run. A well-tuned vehicle with properly inflated tires uses less fuel. Not only that, regular maintenance will help extend the life of your vehicle and maintain its resale value for longer.
4Plan your route and consolidate trips. If you can, avoid high-traffic areas and rush hours. Find one location where you can take care of banking, grocery shopping and other errands. When possible, consolidate your errands into one trip or combine them with your daily commute. Make this a habit and you’ll not only save money on fuel, but planning ahead will reduce stress and make for more efficient use of your time.
5Watch the weight. Clean out the trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments. Less weight means better mileage. Also, remove roof racks when not in use to reduce wind resistance. If you really need to carry a load, secure it safely and evenly distribute the weight.
Others ways to save when you have to drive
In addition to proper vehicle maintenance and practicing fuel-efficient driving habits, here are some other “eco-driving” tips to help you save money: