How do you cut costs in a regime of rising fuel prices?

6 Mins June 28, 2022

The war in Ukraine has resulted in fuel prices shooting up to stratospheric levels. While there is some grumbling about this rise, there is not much an ordinary person can do about it. However, what you can do is to reduce fuel consumption and save money.

How do you save costs in a regime of rising fuel prices

The obvious answer would, of course, be to use public transport. But that may not be a feasible option for everyone, given our overcrowded trains and buses, at least in metro cities. Here are some tips that can help reduce your fuel bills. Follow them so that you can enjoy the comfort of your car and not feel the pinch of the high fuel bills.

Keep tyres properly inflated
Underinflated tyres increase drag which reduces the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Experts believe that even if one tyre is underinflated by 2 PSI (Pounds per square inch), it can reduce fuel efficiency by half a per cent.

Remove unnecessary load from your car
We often keep some stuff in the boot and then forget to remove it. The more weight a vehicle carries, the less is its fuel efficiency. Check if you have kept any stuff in your boot that you don’t immediately need and remove it.

Turn off your engine at the red light
Several important junctions in Indian cities have red lights that last for more than a minute; identify such choke points and turn off your engine. There is absolutely no point in burning your money while waiting for the signal to turn green.

Use the clutch appropriately
Many drivers tend to hit the clutch and accelerator together. Because the clutch is engaged, the burst of power from the accelerator doesn’t do anything except burn more fuel.

Drive at an optimum speed
Most cars give their best fuel efficiency when driven at a specific speed – generally around 45-50 KMPH. Identify what works for your vehicle and try and go at that speed. You will find that your fuel bill could come down by about 10%.

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Fuel up when your tank is half empty
Petrol or diesel tends to evaporate faster when in contact with air. The emptier your tank, the greater the amount of air in it and, hence, the evaporation rate. As a result, it is always better if you fuel up when your tank is half-full to reduce the evaporation rate.

Go Electric
The best option is, of course, to switch to an Electric Vehicle. Not only will you save significantly on your fuel bills, but it will also help decrease pollution. Here is the math about fuel savings.

A typical mid-sized petrol-fuelled sedan is likely to give you a mileage of about 15-18 km. That translates to about Rs. 6 per km (considering petrol price at Rs. 100/litre). The cost of charging an EV, on the other hand, is about Rs. 1.2 per km. Assuming someone commutes about 50 km a day for 20 days a month, the petrol cost is likely to be about Rs. 6,000 per month or Rs. 72,000 per year. An EV, on the other hand, will cost about Rs. 1,200 per month or about Rs. 14,400 per year. That is a saving of almost Rs. 60,000 per year in fuel bills.

Several state governments are offering subsidies on EVs that range up to Rs. 1.5 lakh. You can also get tax benefits under Section 80EEB for loan repayments on your EV loan up to Rs. 1.5 lakh. Further, since EVs have far fewer moving parts than internal combustion engine-powered cars, the cost of spares and maintenance is also much less.

Add all this up, and the answer is obvious – go electric and save money!

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