Learn how to drive smarter

Driving for the majority of us is an absolute necessity; whether we’re driving to the shops, getting the kids to school, commuting to and from work or visiting friends and family, your vehicle is the conduit to some of the most important things in your life.

 

However, the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle is rising year after year causing concerned motorists to review their driving habits in a bid to drive smarter which saves money and the world around them. The benefits of smarter driving include lower fuel costs, less risk of accidents and most importantly, being kinder to the environment.

 

There are several ways you can become a smarter driver this year – simply follow our smart driving tips below.

 

Shop around

Make sure you’re getting the very best deals for your car finance and insurance.  The rise in popularity of Internet comparison sites means that it is now both quick and easy to compare Australian car insurance and finance quotes from a number of different providers at the touch of a button.

 

You may think your current providers are already giving you the best deals as a valued long-term customer but evidence has shown that this is probably not the case.  Be smart and don’t spend more than you need to.

 

Switch it off

Whilst out and about, if you’re likely to be stationary for longer than a minute or two then switch your engine off.  Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they’re restarted (providing you don’t keep your foot on the accelerator) so you won’t waste fuel switching your car off and on again.  However, you will lose fuel sitting with the engine idling for minutes on end.

 

Change gears regularly

Try to get into the habit of watching the rev counter in your vehicle.  As soon as you reach between 2000-2500 revs, change to a higher gear.  Regularly changing gears like this will reduce your fuel consumption by up to 15%.

 

Foot off the brake

Tailgating is the practice of driving too close behind the vehicle in front of you.  It is a habit that’s all too easy to get into but is dangerous and will cause you to brake sharply every time the car in front does.

 

It’s good practice to leave a braking distance of at least two car lengths between you and the car in front (remember the two second rule?) but remember this distance should be doubled in wet weather and multiplied by ten during icy conditions.

 

Switch off air conditioning

When driving at low speeds, air conditioning considerably increases fuel consumption.  It’s not as noticeable at higher speeds but there are smarter alternatives.

 

Winding the window down is a better alternative but will increase drag and therefore make you use more fuel.  The best option is to use your vehicles in built flow through fan as often as possible.

 

Don’t warm the engine

Modern cars do not need to be ‘warmed up’ before being driven off.  Drive away as soon as you have started the engine and save fuel in the process!