Economic driving style


Getting the most value from our hard-earned dollar is important. We do it while shopping for many items but it should go beyond our shopping experience. Saving money can also happen by adjusting your driving style. Here are a few tips to help improve your fuel economy and help you save money.

Let’s start out by adjusting our driving when leaving from a stopped position. You may have heard how smooth acceleration allows us to save fuel. It’s true. It allows for less fuel to be burned up to get you up to speed. Accelerating quickly to get up to speed really wastes fuel, just to reach the speed limit, so why do it, especially over and over again?

Easing off the brake just as the light turns green to get the vehicle in motion prior to pressing the accelerator helps. Sometimes anticipating when the red light will change to green can allow you to get your vehicle in motion a few seconds early. This helps to keep the litres/100 km lower until you get up to driving speed. If you spend a few seconds reaching 20 km/h, it will maximize your fuel savings while starting up from a red light.

Many vehicles now have a fuel mileage gauge in the vehicle that shows the average fuel economy for the vehicle itself. If you’re averaging 8.5 litres of fuel for every 100 kms you travel, that’s roughly the same as 27 miles per gallon in US gallons. That is pretty good considering the average fuel economy for new cars sold in the US is less than 25 miles per gallon.

Even as a new driver, being less smooth than experienced drivers, that’s still decent fuel economy. If you travel an average of 20,000 kms per year, you will roughly spend over $2300 in fuel annually. However, if you average 12.2 litres/100 km as many other drivers do, you’ll roughly spend over $3300 on fuel. This is all based on an average of $1.40/litre in fuel prices across Canada. Are those savings on fuel enough incentive to change your driving habits yet?

To keep your average litres/100 kms at a low level, look well ahead while driving and anticipate the flow of traffic to decide when slowing early is appropriate. Why stay on the accelerator until you are required to brake to a stop? This is a complete waste of fuel. A better plan is to ease off the accelerator as you see traffic slowing or stopping well ahead of you and see if you can keep the vehicle in motion by slowing early. A vehicle in motion can use significantly less amount of fuel to reach traffic speed once again compared to having to accelerate after being in a stopped position. Fuel-injection systems in many modern vehicles will automatically reduce the flow of fuel to the engine.

Other fuel-saving tips would include planning your trips. Attempt to do each of your errands at the same time and plan the route so you can minimize the time it takes to complete each errand. Another tip is to choose lanes of traffic that allow you to keep moving and allows you to avoid having to stop behind buses or vehicles making turns.

If you really want to get the most out of the fuel you’ll need to adopt these changes to your driving style. Dropping fuel prices is only one small part of saving money at the pumps. A change of attitude and skill should also happen if you really want to save your hard-earned money and not have to spend it on fuel.