It seems like not too long ago we were paying a pretty darn good price per litre at the fuel pump. Which is understandable; COVID-19 and its ongoing lockdowns meant that we weren’t getting out and about in our cars which reduced the demand for fuel and therefore the price. And that wasn’t just in the merry old land of Aus, either - prices dropped in many different countries all over the world.
But now that we’re at the back end (fingers crossed) of all the pandemic hullabaloo and there are heaps of us getting back onto the road again all at once as lockdowns are finishing, the demand has spiraled out of control.
And it seems as though the plonkers who run the oil production companies haven’t had the sense to kick things back into gear quickly enough. As a result of this shortsightedness, we’re finding ourselves in a situation where fuel hasn’t cost this much for a bloody long time.
Even just 10c or 20c a litre extra can have a fairly heavy-hitting effect on a great many peoples’ finances, which is why we thought now more than ever it’d be a perfect time to explore ways to reduce how much you’re having to fork out for fuel.
Tip 1. Minimise your idling time
We’ve all been in the situation once or twice before - your partner is ‘just nipping in’ to a shop to grab something or other. Because we take their word for it that they’ll be out in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, we leave the car idling while they’re inside. And by the time they actually do get back to the car, robots have taken over and humans all now live on a colony on Mars.
While it might seem negligible, it’s speculated that an idling vehicle will burn through about a litre of fuel per hour. And when you switch your engine off instead of letting it idle, not only are you reducing your fuel costs but also the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, too. Two birds, one stone!
Tip 2. Keep your tyres at the recommended PSI
When your tyres (even just one or two of them) are underinflated, their increased resistance on the road causes a higher amount of friction, which has a negative effect on fuel consumption. Make sure you’re checking the PSI (pounds per square inch for those playing at home) every month either at a servo or with a tyre pressure gauge of your own.
If you’re unsure what the PSI should be for your car, there are a couple of places you can check. If you have a newer model car, there should be a sticker on the driver’s door trim that lists it. If you can’t find that or it’s not there, refer to the owner’s manual.
Tip 3. Consider adjusting the time(s) you’re out on the roads
When you consider what we discussed earlier about idling, it’s probably obvious that traffic can be a bit of a killer in terms of fuel economy. On top of that, though, is the stop-start driving that’s stressful for engines and further adds to increased fuel consumption.
Whenever possible, try and avoid peak-hour traffic because being stuck in it often will most definitely lead to spending more money at the pump.
Tip 4. Turn off the aircon whenever you can
Summer in Australia can be (and often is) absolutely brutal heat-wise, so of course you’re going to be blasting the AC. But it might be a good idea to turn it down a little when you’re cooled down enough; letting it loose constantly will cost you a few hundred mils of fuel every hour.
An important thing to remember when it comes to AC is also the aerodynamics of your car. That is, if you switch off the AC only to open windows instead, the wind resistance/drag that this causes (over 80 k’s an hour) will actually result in more fuel consumption than keeping them closed and using the AC.
Tip 5. Utilise cruise control more often
If you’re out driving on the beautiful open roads that can be found littered all over our breathtaking country and there are few other cars around, instead of watching the speedo hover around the speed limit and accelerating when you fall under/letting it go when you’re a smidge over, why not utilise your cruise control?
Doing so will reduce the varying speed and acceleration that needs doing, which works well to minimise how much fuel is being used on your journey.
And these days, most new cars even come with what’s known as adaptive cruise control, which uses radar to measure the distance between yours and the car in front, and will adjust your speed limit to mirror theirs (including slowing down drastically when necessary).
It’s integral to keep in mind, thorough, that while cruise control is engaged you remain as highly vigilant and attentive behind the wheel as you would be if it wasn’t being used to ensure you and your family’s safety; anything can happen on the road!
Tip 6. Research fuel prices before filling up
This might be a little bit of an obvious one, but it often can slip our minds when we’re a little low on the go-go liquid. Unless you’re running on fumes and are in dire straits needing fuel like yesterday, you have the time to suss out where the cheapest prices are in the area. You’ll often even find that the prices can fluctuate throughout the day even at the same servo!
Tip 7. Switch to an electric vehicle (EV)
It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? If you’re driving an EV, no matter how high fuel prices soar you’re not going to really care too much, are you? And there are lots of lenders out there who are so keen to see EVs become more commonplace in Australia that they’re offering special interest rates for people who are looking to get car finance for one, too.
Even if you’re not going the full plunge into EV but are interested in a hybrid, you’ll save yourself a substantial amount on fuel every year. There are so many manufacturers bringing out hybrid model variants these days, too, that it’s super-easy to find something to your liking. From Porsche to Prius, Maserati to Mazda, Ferrari to Ford, you’re bound to find the perfect hybrid/EV to suit your needs on the market right now.
Save on fuel AND your car financing with Stratton Finance
In addition to helping you save as much as possible on how much you spend on fuel, we’re here to ensure you save on your car financing as well! The dedication we have to our customers is unsurpassed, and we’ll work incredibly hard to find you the most amazing financing package out there. Whether you’re after full EV, hybrid or anything else, we’ve got you covered from start to finish.
We’ve been in the financing industry for more than two decades, over which time we’ve amassed a huge network of lenders we can tap into - that means you have instant access to thousands of different car finance options instantly when you choose Stratton Finance.
Learn just how low your monthly repayments could be by using our car finance quote tool today. And if you’d like to discuss your requirements further or have any questions for us, please call our friendly team directly on 1300 787 288. Alternatively, you can send us an enquiry online.