Fun ways to save money on fuel

Ask around right now and there are few people who aren’t aiming to save money on fuel. Fuel prices are high, high, high and don’t seem likely to go down significantly at any point in the foreseeable future. So what can you do to save fuel? There are plenty of sensible things you can do (which are listed at the bottom of this article) but here are some of the fun things:

  1. Car share. The chances are you go to work and see the same people on the road, at the same time as you pretty much every day. There’s no reason whatsoever, apart from possibly shyness and stubbornness that you’re not travelling together. OK, in the real world there’ll be days where that car share mightn’t work out, but even if you did it 20% of the time, that would make a difference. There are plenty of ways to track down car share opportunities; you can look online, you can place ads on notice boards and you can simply ask around.
  2. Walk, run or bike. How many of us reach Sunday evening and say, “right, next week I’m going to the gym and am going to cut out x, y and z?”. If your work is within walking, running or biking distance, you can kill two birds with one stone here. Assuming there are shower facilities at your place of work and somewhere to store your bike, then this option is well worth thinking about
  3. Take public transport. Depending on where you live, public transport might be a whole lot more fun than you imagine. A friend of mine lives on a rural bus route and only started taking the bus into the city a few months ago. Already she’s heavily involved in ‘bus culture’. They bake cakes for each other and even had a night out together to celebrate one of the passengers 50th birthday! While not all public transport will be so convivial, if you never try it, you’ll never know.
  4. Set up your own shared transport system. If there isn’t an organised car share network that suits your needs, you could perhaps start one up? It needn’t be hugely time consuming and you might be surprised at how many nice people you meet.

Here are some of the other (more sensible) things you can do:

  • Only drive when you have to. This sounds obvious, but how often do you hop into the car without even thinking? Stopping to think about other solutions is the first step.
  • Make sure your car is well maintained. Well-maintained cars use less fuel; and that’s a fact.
  • Sniff out cheap fuel offers. Supermarkets in particular often have fuel offers and sniffing them out and making a point of planning your ‘fill-up’ for offer days could make a huge difference to your annual spend.
  • Fill up to the max. Travelling to and from the filling station to buy £20 worth of fuel three times a week makes no sense whatsoever, because you’re using fuel to get there. What you need to do is plan your finances so your cashflow can support a full tank on a regular basis.
  • Think of investing in a hybrid vehicle. There’s no getting away from the fact that a hybrid car will save you a fortune on fuel. While you’ll have the capital outlay at the start, you’ll certainly save in the long run. While we’re not suggesting you change car just to save fuel, but if you’re thinking of changing car anyway, now is a great time to be thinking about investing in a hybrid.

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