Planning to do more driving now that Phase 3 has kicked in? Here are handy tips to help you reduce your car’s running costs.
Owning a car is a costly affair in Singapore, so cutting down on running costs is always a priority. Many of us have been driving less during the early days of the pandemic, which helped save on petrol and parking costs. But this is likely to change now that Phase 3 is in force, and we gradually start returning to our normal routine.
So here are some tips to help cut back on our car’s running costs while still enjoying the convenience of driving.PLAN AHEAD
Make an effort to plan your journeys by getting everyone in the household to share their schedules. That way, you can set a date for running errands or make adjustments so you can travel together if you are headed in the same direction. In addition, there are numerous apps and GPS services that can inform you where roads are congested, so you can plan your routes accordingly. These will go a long way towards saving petrol and parking costs.
ADJUST YOUR DRIVING STYLE
Being a patient driver can actually help you stretch your mileage. Avoid rapid acceleration or hard braking as these can consume more petrol and speed up wear and tear of your car parts.
REMOVE EXTRA WEIGHT
It may be convenient to leave sports equipment in the boot or a bike on the roof rack, but carrying the extra weight actually increases fuel consumption. Don’t be tempted to overload your vehicle just so you can complete all your errands at one go. Overloading puts added strain on your vehicle and may eventually cause the tyres to overheat or wear out more quickly.
DON’T SKIP SERVICING OR REPAIRS
Regular servicing is an essential investment as it helps identify potential issues before they become bigger problems that could cost even more in the future or, worse, compromise your safety on the road. In the same vein, don’t put off necessary car repairs.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR TYRES
Make sure your tyres are inflated at the right levels. Over- or under-inflated tyres are said to cause your car to consume almost 6% more petrol. With tyres at the right pressure, you can also enjoy a more stable driving experience.
Petrol costs form a large chunk of a car’s running costs, so it pays to look for the best deal. According to the Competition Commission of Singapore, motorists are wasting as much as $40 million per year because they are not clear on offers by the various petrol retailers. You can monitor petrol prices and promotions across brands through comparison websites such as Fuel Kaki by The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).
Finally, when it comes to cost cutting, every little bit counts. You can start by reducing air con usage for fuel saving during the cooler months by driving with your windows down at the of speed 65km/h or lower – depending on the type of vehicle, any speed higher than 65km/h will create more aerodynamic drag, which could lead to a decrease in fuel economy. You can also wash your car by yourself instead of going to a car wash. Look for cheaper parking lots by parking further away or driving out on a Sunday when free parking is available at selected car parks. Making the extra effort may even help you keep fit!
SPECIALLY FOR AA MEMBERS
Why not kill two birds with one stone? Sign up for AAS Academy’s ECO-Driving Workshop to save money and the environment! On this course, you will:
- Learn how to save money while driving, yet reduce your car-crash risk
- Learn how to stretch your dollar while saving the environment
Click here for more information.