By the end of this article, we’re confident that you’re going to be surprised by how much you can actually save just by changing a few simple driving habits. We’re not talking a few hundred dollars, here. We’re talking thousands of dollars … every year.
If you’re wanting to save some extra cash, read on. You’ll be glad you did.
1. Slow Down
Speeding and rapid acceleration are the quickest, most common wastes of gas. According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, driving at unnecessary speeds and aggressive stops/starts increase your fuel consumption by 5% in the city, and an unbelievable 33% on the highway.
Cost Savings: Responsible speeds can save you as much as $500 a year, depending on how heavy your lead foot is.
2. Download a Gas App
Have you heard of the app GasBuddy? It finds all the gas prices in your area, shows you where you can save, and where you’re overpaying. It’s really simple, and can provide you with weekly savings. Often, you can find 15 cent-a-litre differences between the lowest and highest prices!
Cost Savings: If you save 10 cents per litre once a week with a 60-litre tank, you’re saving over $300 a year.
3. Combine Your Insurance Policies
Do you have home and auto insurance policies through different companies? Did you know that you can save a significant amount of money if you combine your policies with the same company? With Go Insurance, you can combine home and auto insurance and save as much as 10% (on top of any savings you’d receive by just switching to a cheaper carrier).
Cost Savings: This Consumer Reports study found—after analyzing more than 700 companies—that combining your policies can save you between $100 and $250 a year.
4. Download the My Driving Discount App
The My Driving Discount App is a free application you can download on your smartphone that can save you up to 25% on your car insurance premium. The app monitors your driving habits. If those improve over time, you’re eligible for a personalized discount, up to 25%. And, if you download the app right now, you automatically receive 5% off. Read more about it here.
Cost Savings: Between 5% and 25% of your auto insurance costs.
5. Cruise at 80 KM Per Hour
Mileage gets worse as soon as your speed goes higher than 80 KM/H, so set your cruise control and take your time (if time permits, of course). The Oak Ridge National Laboratory claims that you’re paying 5 cents more per litre for every 10 KM/H you drive over 80 KM/H.
Cost Savings: The average person saves $250 a year by restricting themselves to just 90 KM/H during highway driving.
6. Keep Your Tires Inflated
Having properly inflated tires can increase your mileage by 3.3%. How do get the appropriate tire pressure? There’s usually a tire pressure level sticker on the driver’s side doorjamb, and sometimes it’s in the glove box. At the very least, it will be in your driver’s manual. Tires lose about two pounds of pressure a month, so check them about that often.
Cost Savings: At the very least, $100. But Edmunds estimates that severely under-inflated tires can cost people as much as $1000 (CDN) a year!
7. Stop Breaking So Hard
Easing into a stop, instead of slamming on your brakes at the last second, provides a huge maintenance boost. Hard stoppers average 15,000 KM with their brakes. Easy stoppers average between 30,000 and 45,000 KM.
Cost Savings: Preventing four brake changes over the life of your vehicle can save you between $1000 and $1500.
8. Stand the Heat
According to Natural Resources Canada, using air conditioning can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by as much as 20%! So use those windows.
Cost Savings: Depending where you live (and how hot it gets, for how long), you can easily save $150 a year by cutting your A/C dependency.
9. Shop Around for Insurance
A study by J.D. Power showed that only 39% of people looked for new auto insurance last year. Shopping around can manage to save you a lot of money, the study also found. If you’re not one to take the time to shop around, Go Insurance actually works with a number of companies in order to find you the best price possible.
Cost Savings: According to the J.D. Power study, shoppers who switched reported an average savings of $388 (US dollars).
10. Get a Mileage Discount
If you work from home or bike to the office—or do anything that limits the amount of time you drive—companies like Go Insurance will offer you a discount if you drive less than the average amount each year.
Cost Savings: Expect to save $100 a year if you drive less than 10,000 KM a year.
Summary: How Much Can You Actually Save?
You can reasonably expect to save at least $1000 a year.
In extreme cases, people can save over $2000 a year just by changing a few simple behaviours.
So start doing a few of these tips today, and enjoy the benefits tomorrow!