Money-Saving Driving Habits for You and The Environment

by Sean Bryant on April 3, 2012

With $4 being set as the new standard gas price and a continuously scaling cost of living, finding ways to reduce your driving cost can certainly make a difference to your budget. Sure, there definitely is an option to replace the gas-guzzling vehicles with their eco-friendly counterparts but this still isn’t a financially viable solution for many. So, when your gas-driven vehicles are the only option, here are a few thrifty driving habits you can adopt to get the maximum bang for your buck:

Think Before You Spend

Like many other expenses, there’s a lot that you can cut back on by merely thinking before you halt at the next gas station. Consider these questions for yourself:

  • Is it possible to simply walk your way or ride a bike to complete an errand instead of taking a car?
  • Is there any other errand that you can accomplish on the same route?
  • Can’t you just do it online instead of going all the way in person? (Like, paying a bill)
  • Can you carpool with a friend who’s going to the same store?
  • Have you checked for the shortest route? Or, you may want to go by the route that has fewer stops on the way?

Make Maintenance of Your Vehicle a Priority, Not an Option

Often maintenance of vehicles take a backseat when they begin to age, however it might surprise you that this costs you almost 10-20% of extra fuel consumption in the long run. In order to increase the efficiency of your car, you can:

  • Look for tire pressure recommendations given by the manufacturer. Be sure to keep a regular check and ensure that tires are close to this range.
  • Do away with any objects that are not aerodynamically efficient and obstruct the airflow from the outside of the car, like bike racks or luggage.
  • Employ correct oil grade. This improves gas efficiency by 1-2%.

Implement New Driving Techniques

Okay, the techniques given below may not make a big difference in savings but they do contribute a great deal in protecting your environment:

  • Take your time when accelerating or braking the car.
  • Put on your cruise control when you’re driving on the open highway.
  • Make most of the vehicle that are equipped with overdrive. This will both save fuel and reduce wearing away of the engine.
  • When you want to re-circulate the cooling air, use fan instead of air conditioner.

Granted, cycling or walking might not always be an option and there are times when car becomes an essential choice but following the thrifty driving habits given above can take you a few miles further with each gallon.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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