More people than ever before own or use an automobile, but with the price of oil so volatile in recent years it can be increasingly expensive to run your vehicle. Insurance costs can be an issue too as these only ever seem to get more expensive! If you’re not the DIY type, the maintenance cost for you motor can be anything from a minor inconvenience to something much more costly. It is no wonder why many are choosing bicycles to get around town as well as commute, but it is not the solution for everyone. If you have a medical condition, it could prevent you from riding a bike and whereas the sunny south has a climate that makes you want to get out in the open air, in the chillier north it is just not practical to go out in snowy conditions.
Reduce your transport budget
It would be ideal if we could all afford to spend megabucks on the latest and greatest auto technology but for many of us that isn’t an option. New electric cars can lower your running costs if you can afford the upfront cost but aren’t likely to reduce your overall spend (including the car) if you only drive around town. Newer cars can get upwards of 50mpg, but it doesn’t make sense to splash out on this type of vehicle unless you are racking up many thousands of miles per year and even then may not be that beneficial. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your motoring costs down without spending the earth.
- Make sure your tire pressure is correct – This is an overlooked factor by the average motorist out there. There is some science to back this up: low pressure in a tire leads to increased rolling resistance which is the resistance a tire has to its movement across the road. A greater resistance means that the engine must work harder to overcome this, therefore using more fuel. The stats that back this up: a reduction in tire pressure of 10% can result in an increase of fuel by 2.5%. The lesson learned here is to keep an eye on your tire pressures and make sure they are inflated to the manufacturer’s spec – don’t be tempted to over-inflate as this can compromise safety and longevity of a tire.
- Park cheaply – At first this seems like it isn’t a direct running cost but more of an associated cost of motoring, although it is still a regular outlay for most. If you pay daily for car parking, close to work or in the city center, for example, it might be worth your time to try and find free or reduced rate parking. Sometimes local businesses have a free car park for patrons; it can’t hurt to go to approach the business owner about renting a space for a set amount. You can try using paying, in cash up front for a couple of months as a bargaining tool. Always get confirmation of this in writing just in case there is a miscommunication between owners and employees!
- Stick to the speed limit – This should go without saying as it is a legal matter first and foremost. If you do sometimes ignore traffic laws and go above the speed limit, perhaps on the freeway when it is quiet, you might not know that fuel consumption can be significantly If you frequently travel at 80mph to 85mph instead of 70mph, you fuel consumption can increase by as much as 25%. To put that into perspective, if you drove 100 miles at 85mph you could have achieved 125 miles on the same amount of fuel at 70mph! Not to mention the potential cost of fines from speeding tickets.
Dealing with Traffic Fines
If you have received a speeding ticket or have found yourself in potential trouble with traffic law, don’t panic. Many people assume you can just pay fines, and that is the end of it, but have you thought about trying to get advice on these matters? If you find yourself with multiple speeding tickets, for example, the fines (and potential loss of license), and of course insurance, could get into the thousands of dollars if those tickets are bunched together.
If you have never done so before, consider consulting with an attorney for traffic violations to fight your corner or give you the best advice.