COST BUSTERS: G&T; Auto service manager Phil Bax knows many ways to save money on running a car.
COST BUSTERS: G&T; Auto service manager Phil Bax knows many ways to save money on running a car. Ben Turnbull BUNCAR

Simple ways to make big dent in fuel costs

BUYING and running a car is a massive investment.

But there ways to minimise the impact on your hip pocket.

G&T Auto Services workshop manager Phil Bax said there were several things car owners could do to save money.

"The cheapest way to save money is to maintain your car," he said.

"Maintenance is the big thing, so you can fix the little problems before they become big ones.

Mr Bax said his workshop saw a lot of people bring their cars in for services that had not been worked on for two years.

His mechanics then compiled a long list of work that needed to be done.

"That can often come to $1500 or $2000 and people can't afford that," he said.

Another big factor that could cut costs was tyre pressure.

Mr Bax said it was important to have the right pressure in the tyres.

"If you've got low tyre pressure it creates more drag, and that uses more fuel," he said.

Mr Bax said the cost of fuel was a big problem for everyone.

But as funny as it sounded using more expensive fuel was cost effective.

"You get a higher octane, so you don't have to put your foot down as hard," he said.

"For the sake of $5 or $6 a tank extra you get better mileage.

"You pay a bit extra and reap the rewards."

Mr Bax said drivers needed to coast more.

"You can take your foot off the accelerator and coast to the corner or wherever you're going to stop," he said.

"That saves fuel by not being under acceleration."

He also said people should drive in a more relaxed manner.

"If you're in a hurry you're going to use more accelerator and that uses more fuel," he said.

Choosing the right vehicle to match most of the driving people did was also important.

"A lot of people have these big four-wheel drives that only get used around town," he said.

"You've got a big heavy car with a little motor that's chewing fuel."

Mr Bax said people should also consider whether they needed roof racks.

"You see people driving around town with roof racks on that never get used, but they also create more drag," he said.

"A lot of people have them because they think it looks good."

Mr Bax said owning a car was a massive expense, the biggest after their house for most people.

"Unlike your house it only diminishes in value," he said.

"You buy a $50,000 car and drive it around the corner and it's worth $40,000."

TOP TIPS

G&T Auto Services workshop manager Phil Bax's tips for saving fuel:

Choose the right vehicle for your needs, taking fuel efficiency into account

Maintain your car with regular servicing

Keep your tyres inflated at the correct pressure

Coast more - try not accelerating or braking into corners or when coming to a stop

Drive in a more relaxed manner and avoid having to hurry

Remove unused roof racks

Consider buying more expensive fuel, as it is a higher octane and can result in better mileage



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