News Article

Get the most out of your car when petrol prices go up

Published 13 October 2016 by

Just when you thought budgeting for the build up to Christmas was hard enough, there’s still Halloween, Bonfire night and five weekends of October to pay for first. If we then told you that petrol prices are due to go up this month as well, it could be time to re-think the spending.

Every time you go to the pump from November, it’s likely to cost you an average of an extra 5p a litre. With the pound weakened due to the continued uncertainty around the Brexit vote some months ago and a hike in oil prices, drivers are going to be hit by a push up in petrol and diesel prices.

The price of Brent crude oil has hit its highest level in a year this week, going up to more than $53 (£43) a barrel. For car owners, this means that unless there’s a shift in the exchange rate and cost of oil, paying at the pump could cost quite a bit more.

Ways to save

Firstly, try to cut back on small unnecessary journeys that you can make on foot. It’s a great way to exercise and if you have a bicycle, use that instead – it’s another way of keeping fit.

If you travel to work by car, ask if they have a car share scheme. This means you’ll have someone to chat to on the way to work and you can save on travel costs. Alternatively, share your car with those who travel a similar route to work or live close by. Ask for a small contribution towards the fuel, and recoup those rising petrol costs. And what’s more, you’ll be doing your bit to help the environment, by taking more cars off the road.

It costs thousands every year to run your car, so why not ditch it and use public transport or hop on your bike. If it would cost you less than £39 a week to go via other modes of travel, it’s probably better value than the car.

Try a car club too – it can be cheaper than owning a car. It’s similar to car hire, but you use it for the journey your making. Of course, you’ll still need to pay for but the running and owning costs won’t be there. Check out Zipcar, and Enterprise Carclub to see if your area is included.

Get the most out of every drop

The AA has some great tips on econimcal driving, with advice on how to get more value from your tank. It’s true that fuel consumption will be dictated by the engine size and the age of your car. But there’s lot’s more you can do to reduce energy, pollution and CO2 emissions.

Keep the vehicle healthy: Keep your car serviced to maiximise energy efficiency, check the handook and always use the right oil for the engine.

Under pressure: Keep an eye on tyre pressure regularly, under-inflated tyres will make the car use up more fuel.

Shed the weight: Any load you carry in the vehicle will require more fuel, so empty the boot of unecessary extra baggage. Streamline the vehicle too, so take off any roof racks you’re not using.

Be prepared: It sounds silly, but planning journeys and knowing the traffic news will prevent getting lost and stuck in jams.

Stay smooth: Drive smoothly with gentle acceleration, smooth deceleration and avoid unecessary braking – stopping and starting the car when you don’t need to wastes petrol.

Switch it off: Air-conditioing increases fuel consumption at low speeds, and using some of the car’s other functions such as heated rear windscreen, demisters or headlights when you don’t need to will mean you’ll need to fill up sooner.

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