Make the most of your fuel tank. Check out these 7 money-saving tips
Fuel is an unavoidable cost for drivers, right? Well, yeah – but there are ways to make it more manageable.
Nobody really enjoys refuelling their car, especially considering the sharply rising prices that we're seeing in Australia at the moment.
While there isn't much we can do about the cost of fuel or the need to fill up, there are ways to reduce the frequency of refuels or make them more manageable.
Earn Velocity Points when you refuel
Earn Velocity Points every time you pump fuel; although it wont reduce the up-front cost, it could save you cash elsewhere.
For example, 7-Eleven recently partnered with Virgin Australia so customers can now earn Velocity Points every time they refuel at 7-Eleven petrol stations.
You can earn two Velocity Points per litre of premium fuel, one Velocity Point per litre of regular fuel and two Velocity Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in-store.
Of course, terms and conditions do apply but you can head over to the 7-Eleven website to read the full disclosure.
The amount of fuel your car burns will be impacted by the way you drive – and to a surprising degree. In a fuel consumption experiment by the AA, participants found they reduced their fuel bills by an average of 10% when driving economically, and one even reduced it by 33%.
To drive economically, focus on gentle acceleration and avoid braking unnecessarily. Change up gears earlier, at an engine speed of around 2,000 rpm for diesel cars or 2,500 for petrol.
You should also stick to the speed limit. Well, you should be doing this anyway but aside from avoiding fines, the faster you go, the more fuel you use. According to the AA, driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Taking it up to 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
Use an app to find low fuel prices
Download an app which shows the lowest local fuel prices and you can pinpoint which petrol station might be the best to visit.
Some brands even have their own apps, including 7-Eleven, which lets you search nearby stores to find the best local price and then lock that price in for up to seven days.
Care for your car
Car maintenance isn't just good for your vehicle and your personal safety, it can be kind on your pocket too.
Regularly servicing your car can make it more efficient, as can changing air filters and using the recommended engine oil. You can check your handbook to find out which one your car needs.
Check your tyres
Incorrectly inflated tyres can have a big impact on fuel consumption, so make it a habit to check your tyre pressure at least once a month.
Even more importantly, driving with incorrectly inflated tyres can be a hazard to you and others on the road, as it impacts your braking and handling.
Remove additional load when you don't need it
Sports equipment, surf boards, roof racks – we're all guilty of keeping things on or in our cars when we don't really need them. But additional load not only makes your car heavy, it can also increase drag and burn through the fuel.
Clear any surplus stuff out of your car; just always remember the essentials such as a first aid kit and emergency supplies in case of a breakdown.
Avoid short trips
This one might be tricky or even impossible for some drivers, but it's best for your fuel consumption if you can avoid short trips.
Cold engines use up to 20% more fuel compared to warm engines, so quick trips around town can guzzle through the fuel. Try to avoid them or combine several small trips into one.