We have divided these guidelines into three parts: how to save on fuel, take proper care of your car and how to optimize its performance. Read them all to see how much you can save!
How to make driving cheaper? First of all, save fuel!
Should you go for LPG? Not so fast!
LPG has been available at an attractive price for years. This makes driving a vehicle with an LPG installation cheaper than using petrol. It is usually cheaper to purchase a car which already has the installation; it usually costs more than 2,000 PLN but the seller will most likely not increase the price of the car by this much just because the installation is there. What you need to consider, though, is that the installation may be faulty.
If you’re driving a petrol car and would like to have LPG installed, make sure you calculate the cost first. You will need to know the number of kilometres you drive everyday and the fuel consumption of your car (both the current one and the one you expect when LPG is installed). If it turns out the car will only bring about saving in 10 years or so, there hardly is any sense in investing in the LPG installation. Remember to consider the additional costs, too: LPG means more expensive technical examinations and increased wear of certain parts.
Drive at a constant speed
If your car has cruise control, learn how to use it and do make sure you use it whenever you can. Cruise control will help you spend less on driving since maintaining a constant speed reduces fuel consumption; you will always need more fuel if you speed up often. Remember: cruise control is not provided free of charge; you paid for it anyway, so use it!
Stable driving means lower consumption. Every time you suddenly speed up, the car uses more fuel. Remember about it while starting the car or planning to take over one that is driving slightly slower than yours. If you keep your inner animal at bay, not only will you save on fuel but you will also enjoy using brakes for longer and your driving will be safer.
Idling increases fuel consumption. It also gives you less options when it comes to reacting to what is happening on the road. If you teach yourself to not idle, you will make your driving cheaper and safer at the same time.
Check air pressure in the tyres
Driving a car whose tyres have lower air pressure than that which is recommended by their manufacturer is guaranteed to cost you a lot. If the air pressure is too high, though, they can break more easily and need to be replaced earlier than expected. Since the air pressure in your tyres has such great influence on your spendings, make sure you check it often.
How to make driving cheaper? Secondly, take care of your car!
Prevention is better than cure
This doesn’t only apply to health; it also makes a lot of sense for car owners. Try to prevent faults if you can. Read the manual, make sure you regularly replace engine oil and other liquids as well as filters. Maintain the car as advised by the manufacturer. This should help you prevent paying a lot for the mechanic when something breaks down.
If something in the car suggests it’s going to break down soon, make sure you react immediately instead of waiting for the situation to get worse. Minor faults may start a chain reaction; you never know how many parts you may need repaired in the end. If you react fast, you may only need to repair one or two parts; if you don’t, there will most likely be much more.
Act on your own
As we said, once something starts breaking down, you need to have it repaired asap; before you book repairs at a station, though, why not check if you cannot do some simple repairs on your own? There is a number of things you should be able to do without leaving your garage, such as refill the liquids, change a bulb or fuse, clean the battery clamps, grease the hinges, prepare the seals and other rubber elements for winter, replace wiper blades, and even the cabin filter or some other filters. This depends on the model of the car; some allow you to change the bulb in a quarter while others will have you spend half a day to do the same thing. Check what your car is like when it comes to repairs. Google will surely have plenty of advice for you; a number of people have already done what you’re trying to do and some of them will also have written a post or made a movie about it. You may spend a bit of time making repairs on your own but at the same time, you will spend less than you would if you visited a repairs station.
How to make driving cheaper? Thirdly, optimize!
Money is not the only thing you should pay attention to
If a kilo of beef costs 5 PLN less in the supermarket than in your local store, it is a good deal indeed. Before you jump in the car to drive to the supermarket, though, think of how much the driving will cost you. If the consumption of your car is 8 L per 100 km in the city, and petrol costs 5 PLN, then a 100 km will cost you 40 PLN. One km will cost you 0,40 PLN. So if the supermarket is further than 12,5 km both ways, then you will not make any savings if you go there to buy 1 kg of that beef, even if you only consider fuel costs! There are other factors to take into account, too: the higher the mileage, the less the car is worth and the more you pay for insurance. Every time you drive, you get a step closer to the moment the car will need to be washed, too.
If you want to spend less on your car, the first thing you should consider is how to use it less often. You could switch from driving to those squash lessons at the other end of the city to
jogging in a park next to your home. You could also go to work by bus or tram instead of wasting fuel in the traffic jam; not only will you get to work faster but you will also be able to read a book while on the way.
We understand that driving somewhere may simply be more convenient than using public transport. You can still make savings if you find someone to go with you. Talk to your colleagues or neighbours; there surely is someone who will be happy to go with you. If you’re going to a party, there will definitely be a few people looking for a driver. You don’t even have to ask them to pay. Have them drive you the next time and you will still save money!
Take part in loyalty programmes
Virtually every fuel station has its own loyalty programme. While some of them are more convenient, others may only turn out to be useful once in a while; still, you can always make some savings with them. Since you’re buying fuel anyway, why not make use of all those loyalty cards?
As you can see, there are a number of ways you can make driving cheaper. You may not be able to use all of our suggestions but don’t worry! Whatever you save will always be better than no savings at all!