Save fuel buy making a few small changes to your driving habits.

With an increase of 88 cents per litre of petrol and 98 cents per litre of diesel on Tuesday night, consumers and businesses alike are feeling the strain on their budgets.

Budget Insurance has a few tips on how to make your driving more fuel-efficient and thus cutting down on your fuel spend.

Graham Craggs, spokesperson for the company, suggests that motorists start by getting their vehicle checked out for any problems. “It is very important to keep-up with engine maintenance and service your car regularly. Make sure that spark plugs and filters are changed according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. If your car is kept in optimal condition, you can reduce petrol costs and save yourself even more money by preventing costly repairs further down the line.”

Ensure that the vehicle’s wheel alignment is correct and that the tyres are properly inflated. Unsuitable wheel alignment not only increases the amount of petrol needed to keep the car going, but also decreases the lifespan of the tyres. Under-inflated tyres offer more road resistance and increases fuel consumption.

Once your vehicle is in tip-top shape, you can make a few small changes to your driving habits:

  • Avoid harsh, stop-start driving.
  • Slow down. At 110km/h your car uses up to 25 per cent more petrol than it would at 90km/h.
  • Drive in the highest gear possible without straining your engine.
  • Drive at a constant speed.
  • Avoid idling for too long or unnecessarily.
  • Don’t drive with the window wide open, especially at high speeds as this causes drag and increased fuel consumption.
  • Use your air conditioner sparingly as it can use up to 10 per cent more fuel. At speeds over 80km/h, using your air con is more fuel efficient than driving with your window open.
  • Avoid using other on-board electrical devices such as cell phone chargers as these also increase consumption.
  • Remove unnecessary weight. The more a car carries, the more fuel it uses.

Another great way to cut down on travel costs, is to join a lift club. Get a few friends to share the cost of travelling to work or the same area/town and it will help cut down on monthly fuel expenses and wear and tear on your vehicle.

Lastly, plan your trips, try to do as much as you can during one trip and take the shortest route to your destination.

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