If you're looking for ways to tighten up your monthly budget, there's an unexpected place to look: Your garage.
No, we do not say that you should sell your car (although it really is an option). It is rather time to take a closer look at how you drive and take care of your vehicle. Both of these habits can have a big impact on your wallet – even if you do not get behind the wheel as often as you were before the COVID-19 pandemic. (And if you are looking for an affordable car insurance, we can also help with that.)
What is the cost of petrol?
Gasoline driving (also known as miles per gallon or MPG) is measured by calculating the number of miles a vehicle can travel with one liter of fuel. Fuel economy is another term that is often used. This is often called improving fuel efficiency ̵
How can I calculate my car's MPG?
Since 1977, car manufacturers have been required to publish some form of miles per gallon measure on new car brands. For modern vehicles, this includes classifications for urban, motorway and combined MPG values.
In general, vehicles show better petrol driving during motorway driving rather than city driving (ie stop and start). But the combined MPG value, which represents 55% city driving and 45% motorway driving, provides a quick and easy way to compare the fuel efficiency of petrol vehicles – which is especially useful if you are shopping for a new car. You can find these values for your current vehicle through a quick internet search.
If you want to measure the actual mileage of your car, it's easier than you might think. Follow the steps below from the US Department of Energy & # 39 ;s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy:
- Step 1: Fill the tank. Fill your tank all the way up and then record the current mileage from your odometer (or set your odometer's trip meter).
- Step 2: Run it out and register your numbers again. When it's time to refill, record the new meter reading and the number of liters required to refill.
- Step 3: Subtract your readings. If you used the trip meter, you can skip this step. If not, use these basic math skills to use and subtract your first odometer reading from your second to see how many miles you have traveled on a tank.
- Step 4: Make a small breakdown to determine your MPG. Take your figure from step three and divide the number of miles you drove by the number of liters it took to fill your tank. Your final number is your MPG for that driving period.
What is considered a "good" fuel cost?
Getting good petrol driving means that you can travel further with less petrol.
As a general guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designed a fuel economy rating that evaluates vehicles on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). These figures are also available on new car brands. For the 2020 model year, vehicles that earn 1 rating give an MPG of 14 or lower, while a score of 10 requires 44 or more MPG.
But there are many other variables that affect this – from the type of vehicle you drive to the way you drive it. And all of these can add up when it comes to how much you stop spending on gasoline.
What causes poor fuel flow?
No matter what type of vehicle you drive, all of these factors can adversely affect gasoline propulsion. :
- Speed: The faster you drive, the more fuel your vehicle burns up. This includes how fast you accelerate as well.
- Idle: Keeping your car warm or cool, queuing for a ride or waiting to pick up your child from soccer practice can all reduce your vehicle's fuel economy.
- Aerodynamic traction and overweight: Are you driving too fast or traveling with a load carrier on the roof? These can increase wind resistance, causing your vehicle to use more gas. And pulling some kind of trailer or pulling too much in the trunk, bed or back seat also requires more fuel.
- Poor maintenance: From under-inflated tires to an unattended engine issue, failure to consistently "set up" your vehicle can cost you much more at the pump. It can also create potential security risks.
- Fast travel: A quick drive to the supermarket on Monday. Stay at the bank on Wednesday. While it may be convenient to run these cases one at a time, it can wreak havoc on your fuel economy. Fast, short journeys like this from a "cold start" eat up fuel, as your engine needs to be warmed up before it can run efficiently.
How can I improve my gas distance?
US Department of Energy & # 39 ;s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and Consumer Reports offer several ways to improve your MPG:
- Run more efficiently.
- Follow the speed limit and drive sensibly – not aggressively (eg fast accelerations, hard stops, etc.)
- Do not speed up and down the motorway (unless you need it for safety). Once you get up to speed, stay there. Use cruise control whenever possible.
- Remove unnecessary extra weight, avoid idling and remove the cargo box from the vehicle's roof (if you do not really need to use it) to help even more.
- Keep your car in shape.
- Plan and combine trips.
- Spend less time sitting in traffic by avoiding rush hour on daily commutes.
- Run all your errands in one day instead of taking several short trips during the week.
- If you have a particularly long commute, ask your employer if you can work from home for a day or two a week.
- Choose a more fuel efficient vehicle.
- If your budget allows it, consider buying a vehicle that shows better MPG than your current one.
- Example: fueleconomy.gov reports that upgrading to a car that gets 30 MPG compared to one that gets 20 MPG can save you $ 545 in fuel costs per year (assuming $ 15,000 miles annually and a fuel cost of $ 2.18) . Do your research to find one that fits. If you are considering buying a vehicle online (especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic), read Buying a Car Online? Here's what you need to know before you start.
Find more ways to save on car insurance
Cheap car insurance does not have to mean poor protection and service. ERIE offers affordable car insurance with many opportunities to reduce and avoid increases in your car insurance costs while covering quality.
Talk to your local agent about ERIE Rate Lock® approval 1 that freezes your auto premium year after year, even if you file a claim. Your prices only change if you add or remove a vehicle or driver or change the address where you park your car. Ask your local ERIE agent to talk about your coverage options and show you how to start saving.
1 Rates are subject to change if you add or remove a vehicle, add or remove a driver, or change your address or the location where you usually park your car. ERIE Rate Lock® does not guarantee continued insurance coverage. Not available in all states. Limited to three years in Virginia. The insured must meet current insurance guidelines. Premium can be changed if you make a policy change. See our disclaimer for more information.