Driving Best Practices to Save You Cash
May 24, 2011
Just owning a car is expensive, but actually driving it has the potential to bust your budget. Gas is a huge expense for the hundreds of thousands of drivers across the country, but if you fail to drive within the legal limits you could face hundreds of dollars in fines, repair costs, and insurance increases. So how can a driver protect their budget while on the road? By following these tips:
• Always drive the speed limit. Though you may be in a hurry, are a ticket and the subsequent increase in your insurance premium really worth speeding to your destination? Probably not. Additionally, if you already have several points on your license or do not have updated registration you could face more expensive charges. Should your license exceed the legal number of points you could even have to turn over your car and spend some time in jail. Clearly, the most cost-effective option is to simply follow the speed limit and avoid the situation altogether.
• Refrain from accelerating quickly. Your car literally weighs a ton, so naturally going from a complete stop to a higher speed will utilize a great deal of gas. Gas prices are constantly on the rise and have long been one of the most expensive costs associated with driving, so drivers should focus on reducing this expenditure as much as possible. By taking it slow and easing into the gas, instead of slamming the pedal, you can save a great deal of fuel.
• Coast. Coasting is when a driver is pushing neither the gas pedal nor the brake pedal. Moving only by the force of the momentum of your car, coasting is a great gas saver that can be used on a regular basis. When coming up to a stop sign or stop light, try to coast for as long as possible before pushing on the brake pedal. This means that drivers must be paying a great deal of attention to traffic in order to take their foot off the gas early, but the amount of fuel that is saved by coasting can add up. Additionally, by coasting instead of riding the brakes drivers can increase the life of their brake pads and rotors—decreasing vehicle maintenance and getting more out of the life of their car.
• Pay attention to where you buy gas. Keeping an eye on gas prices around town can help you determine where the cheapest stations are. Additionally, several websites monitor gas prices and can be referenced to help you save at the pump. Because gas is a huge expense, drivers should take advantage of lower gas prices and always top off the tank if they discover a great deal. Additionally, if you know gas is cheaper on one side of town than another, make it a point to purchase gas when running errands in that area.
Driving is very expensive—it's one of the most costly investments that people make in their lifetime. However, by paying attention to their driving habits and making responsible decisions, drivers can keep their budgets intact.
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