We recently caught up with Storage West to discover 5 top tips to driving green. This is what they said…
“Doesn’t everyone want to save money? Especially when it comes to paying for things we are forced to buy instead of things we actually want.
Petrol costs would be one such undesirable, and driving around looking for lower prices rarely saves you much.
But by changing just a few silly habits, you can increase fuel efficiency and use less petrol, bringing the cost down. But how so?
With simple driving tips, you could increase your fuel economy (and savings) by 30 or 40%. Not only that, but less pollution gets into the air and the roads become less congested.
Carrying a Heavy Load Slows You Down
Driving a car down the road requires energy. Thus the heavier the vehicle, the more energy is needed. This is why large vehicles have worse gas mileage than small cars.
The heavier car requires more power. Whatever kind of car you drive, eliminating weight increases your car’s fuel efficiency.
Maybe you are an outdoors person with a ski or bike rack on your car? Unless you’re on your way to a ski trip or bike ride, take it off to reduce wind resistance. How about what you have in the back?
Do you keep sports equipment or miscellaneous junk in the boot? Clean it out. Prams, gym bags, and the rock salt you used in the winter all harm fuel efficiency. For every extra 100 pounds your car carries, it loses 2% in fuel economy.
Your Tyres Might Be Sucking Cash from You
Properly inflated tyres make for a more efficient ride. The weight your car carries isn’t the only thing affecting your fuel economy: your tyres can, too.
Many people overlook tyre maintenance, but you want to always make sure your tyres are properly filled.
Underinflated tyres reduce fuel efficiency. A bean bag does not roll as easily as a well-inflated ball. Properly-inflated tyres roll with less friction, meaning the engine works less. The owner’s manual gives you proper inflation levels, as does a plate inside the driver’s door.
No Need for Speed
Coast into the red light and save fuel. Physical science demonstrates that speeding, quick acceleration and hard braking deplete efficiency by a third.
You may recall what Sir Isaac Newton had to say about inertia and motion. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion and sitting objects tend to stay still. That’s inertia. Overcoming inertia requires energy.
Cars get their energy from petrol. A gradual start from a stop uses less fuel than jumping forward like a rabbit and you use less energy to get up to speed: the momentum helps the vehicle continue to accelerate without as much energy use.
Once the car is in motion, it is wise to preserve that momentum when you can. If you see a light ahead turning from yellow to red, instead of continuing at the same speed, take your foot off the accelerator and come to a gradual stop.
Even better, imagine the light turns green again before you get there – your car doesn’t have to come to a full stop and picking up speed again takes less energy.
The speed at which you drive on the motorway where there is less stopping and starting affects your fuel efficiency. Cars run at maximum efficiency at just below 100KMH, and every 10KMH over 100 decreases efficiency by 6%.
Sharing a Car
For drivers who want an eco-alternative to traditional car ownership, car-sharing gives you a vehicle when you need it, but you’re not stuck with one when you don’t.
This is a great way to save money, especially in urban areas.
If you only use a car for occasional errands or weekend drives, you can benefit greatly. The benefits for society? Fewer cars on the road, but when needed, you have one available to haul groceries, pick up someone from the airport, or just for an outing to the beach.
Meanwhile, you avoid the headaches and costs of ownership – no insurance expenses, no need for paying for maintenance, no purchase price.
If you don’t want to give up owning a car, you can put it in car storage for most of the time, and still save on many of the expenses, including insurance.
Save in Public
Public transit offers a nice option for getting around, even if you own a car or use car sharing. Thirty people on a bus eliminates a couple dozen cars from the road.
Now imagine the impact of hundreds of people on a train. You are helping ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution.
Meanwhile, it costs less to ride the bus, train or trolley than to pay for petrol and maintenance, especially for daily commutes to work.
These various methods are simple and don’t take a great deal of effort, but they can save you a good deal of money each month, and they help maintain the earth in a desirable state.”
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