These days with petrol prices being close to that of liquid gold, and the cost of car-parts at an all-time high, owning a vehicle is a luxury that doesn’t come cheap.
According to the South African vehicle financing house, Wesbank, the monthly mobility basket – which comprises of vehicle instalments, fuel, insurance and maintenance fees – has risen to R7,851.39. This is 3% higher than last year, and 28% higher than five years ago when monthly costs amounted to R6,144.22.
We can’t always control all the expenses, but we can take the wheel and change our driving style as this too can influence our fuel usage and maintenance costs. “Your style of driving is one of the primary factors in determining how much you will end up spending on your car over and above repayment costs”, says Jeff Osborne, Head of Gumtree Automotive.
Plan to go slow
According to Osborne you should plan your trips carefully and not rush to your destination. Accelerating too fast and speeding may influence your fuel consumption. If your car is fitted with an inboard computer that tracks fuel consumption, make use of it.
Control your A/C
Tests have shown that aircon can account for about 5% of a car’s annual fuel bill, and for the modern energy-efficient vehicle, it’s about half of that amount.
Keep your windows shut and try to switch your aircon off when your car is idling. Keep your air conditioning turned off until you’ve reached cruising speed and then turn it on. Don’t switch the aircon off and drive with your windows open for fresh air, that also causes a drag which feasts on fuel.
Just keep pumping
Make sure that your tyres maintain the right pressure as it will help you save on fuel and keep you from losing control of your wheels. Your tyres should last for at least 50,000 km if used correctly. “Taking good care of your tyres can save you from unnecessary expense”, says Osborne.
Read your car’s manual to make sure that the tyre pressure is correct. The usual 2 bar might not apply to your specific vehicle.
Go easy on the clutch and brakes
Allowing enough time to brake and come to a stop will prevent your brake pads and clutch from wearing out.
Go ahead, drive with caution and save some cash! Your car doesn’t have to eat your savings – just change your driving behaviour.
Did you know?
You need to have a dotsure.co.za Smart-Box fitted to your insured vehicle if you have a car insurance . The Smart-Box monitors driving behaviour and rewards you for good driving by lowering your monthly premium*.
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