Subsidy Removal: Top 10 Ways To Save Fuel When Driving

Since May 29, 2023 when President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), has increased from less than N200 to between N580 to N640 per litre.
If the expense of fuel is a constant worry for you, there’s good news. There are several smart strategies to cut down on fuel consumption and ensure you’re getting the most value out of every litre.
For those eager to learn how to minimise fuel usage, our list of the top 10 ways to save fuel while driving offers exactly what you need.
1. Know How to Cool Down
Driving in hot weather can transform from a pleasure to a challenge, as the combination of heat, leather seats, and the confined space of a car can lead to an uncomfortable and sweaty experience.
The straightforward solution to combat this discomfort is to either open a window or turn on the air conditioning (A/C). However, for those mindful of fuel efficiency while driving, choosing the right method is crucial.
Know How to Cool Down
High-Speed Driving: Use A/C
If you enjoy the sensation of wind in your hair by rolling down the windows, it might be time to reconsider, especially when driving at high speeds.
Although the breeze is refreshing, it can cause an increase in fuel consumption due to higher wind resistance. This resistance forces your vehicle to use more fuel to maintain speed.
Therefore, when you’re driving at speeds of 30 mph or faster, opting for the A/C is more fuel-efficient, despite it not providing the natural wind sensation.
Low-Speed Driving: Roll Down the Windows
Conversely, at lower speeds, rolling down the windows is a far better choice than using the A/C. It’s a more fuel-efficient way to keep cool without the need for artificial cooling.
2. Sort Out Your Bad Habits
Your driving style significantly impacts your car’s fuel consumption. If you find yourself pressing the pedals too hard, it’s time to adopt a gentler approach.
Abrupt braking or accelerating too quickly not only increases your fuel consumption unnecessarily but also wears down your vehicle faster.
Similarly, those with a penchant for speeding will notice that their attempts to overtake often lead to higher fuel use, especially when they end up stopping at a red light shortly after.
Maintaining a constant speed is key to reducing fuel consumption. Moreover, enhancing your hazard perception skills allows you to anticipate changes on the road better, enabling a smoother adjustment of speed without abrupt changes.
3. Cut Down on Unnecessary Weight
Reducing the weight of your car is a straightforward yet effective way to decrease fuel consumption. While it’s crucial to carry essential items in your vehicle, distinguishing between what’s necessary and what’s not can make a significant difference in how much fuel your car uses. A lighter car requires less energy to move, translating into fuel savings.
4. Check Your Tyres
For all vehicle owners, regular maintenance is essential not just for avoiding breakdowns but also for ensuring road safety.
Among the various aspects of vehicle maintenance, tyres are critical. Driving on underinflated tyres not only increases fuel consumption but also poses significant safety risks.
A considerable amount of fuel is wasted, and safety is compromised due to underinflated tyres.
5. Plan Your Journeys
One of the simplest strategies to conserve fuel is by meticulously planning your journeys. Whether it’s running errands or embarking on longer drives, a little planning can go a long way in enhancing fuel efficiency.
For those who spread their errands throughout the week, consider consolidating these trips into a single journey.
By combining your errands, you reduce the need to drive back and forth multiple times, which in turn saves fuel. This approach not only makes your trips more fuel-efficient but also more time-efficient.
6. Switch Off for a While
Turning off your engine during prolonged stops can be a straightforward yet effective method to save fuel and reduce emissions.
When caught in a long queue of traffic, it might seem convenient to keep the engine running, ready to move at a moment’s notice.
However, idling for extended periods is not only wasteful in terms of fuel consumption but also contributes unnecessarily to carbon dioxide emissions, however, if you find yourself at a complete standstill, it’s advisable to switch off the engine. This action conserves fuel and is better for the environment.
The common concern that restarting the engine frequently could wear it out or use more fuel is less significant with modern vehicles, as they are designed to handle such operations efficiently.
Once traffic begins to move, simply restart your engine and continue on your journey. This practice, known as ‘stop-start’ driving, has become increasingly common with the introduction of automatic stop-start systems in many new cars, which automatically shut down and restart the engine to save fuel during brief stops.
7. Budget
Navigating your finances with a budget is a crucial aspect of car ownership, impacting everything from fuel purchases to regular maintenance.
Despite the common reluctance towards budgeting, it’s an essential practice for every car owner. The costs associated with owning a vehicle, such as insurance, road tax, and fuel, can add up quickly, making budgeting not just beneficial but necessary.
8. Sharing is Caring
Exploring car-sharing options can be a game-changer for those looking to cut down on their travel expenses and reduce their environmental footprint.
If you find that your car is often parked or you and a friend or family member are frequently travelling the same route, car sharing could be a wise decision.
This approach is not only environmentally friendly but can also significantly lower your fuel costs.
Whether alternating car use on different days or commuting together, the financial benefits become quickly evident.
9. Go Eco-Friendly
Embracing eco-friendly vehicles is an effective strategy for those aiming to reduce fuel consumption and support environmental sustainability.
Switching to an eco-friendly car presents a promising opportunity to decrease your environmental impact and achieve long-term savings.
Whether you opt for a fully electric vehicle, eliminating the need for petrol or diesel, or choose a hybrid model to significantly reduce your fuel use, the benefits extend both to the planet and your finances.
It’s important to note, however, that eco-friendly vehicles often come with a higher initial purchase price.
10. Stop Driving
Taking a break from driving can be a radical but effective measure to significantly reduce fuel expenses and contribute positively to environmental conservation.
Embrace Alternative Modes of Transport
Consider alternatives to using your car for short distances or routine errands. Walking, cycling, or utilising public transport can be practical and healthier options for getting around.
For instance, a quick trip to the local shop could be an opportunity for a brisk walk rather than a drive, saving money and reducing carbon emissions.
By reserving car use for essential long journeys or specific commitments, the potential for savings on fuel and general car expenses increases substantially.
If after implementing various strategies to save on fuel costs you still find the financial burden of car ownership too heavy, it might be time to ponder a longer hiatus from driving.

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