Bang For Our Buck (From Our Banger)- Getting The Most Value Out Of Our Car, Whatever Its Age

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It all boils down to money, doesn’t it? When we purchase a car, we’re looking for the cheapest option to get us from A to B, but is this usually a good shout? When we are starting out on our automotive journey, we can make a lot of mistakes on the road or buy a car we aren’t happy with. But, even though a lot of people view a car as being a very easy way to suck up our finances, there are things we can do to get more value out of the car we’ve purchased, however cheap or expensive it is. While now, the electric car is being touted as a cheap and environmental approach to driving, we still have to pay a lot of money upfront for these things. And while we’ve got about 20 years until we’re all driving electric cars, in the meantime, we still need to get value out of our current vehicle of choice. What do we all need to know about getting the best bang for our buck from our old banger?

Separating The Fact From Fiction

When we are looking at driving more economically, every little thing can come under scrutiny. We’re trying our best to save fuel, especially as costs are rising, and so, we need to know what is true and false when it comes to our own individual driving habits. A very good example is air conditioning. A lot of people believe that putting the air-con on uses up a lot of fuel. As such, we are more inclined to open the windows or shiver through our journey. In fact, while air-conditioning does use up some fuel, it doesn’t use as much as you think! While we have to venture into semantics in many ways, it certainly depends on your own driving style or habits. If you are driving with the windows down at high speeds, you will end up compromising the aerodynamic aspect of the vehicle, creating drag, and when you work out the math, the vehicle is less cost-effective in comparison to air conditioning. Although, when you are driving at slower speeds, it’s cheaper for you to open the windows. Another thing to consider, especially when you are buying a new vehicle, is the misconception that smaller cars have lower fuel consumption levels. While this was definitely the case 10 years ago, the advancements in technology now mean that all modern cars use less fuel. While the size of the car has a direct impact on things like insurance, when you’re looking to drive more economically, picking a new car doesn’t leave you out of pocket as much.

And on the topic of insurance policies, the prevailing factor in how much you pay for your policy is where you live. Well, to be precise, it’s this in conjunction with the amount you drive the vehicle. While those that are new to driving will have a higher insurance policy to pay, this doesn’t mean you will end up paying through the nose. There are ways to find a decent insurance policy based on your own specific circumstances, and there are plenty of sites that give this type of advice. For example, you can go on to see the varying factors that can impact your policy.

Getting Into The Habit Of Driving Economically

Driving in an economical fashion isn’t just about the act of driving yourself. There are two distinct camps relating to driving economically; your own ability behind the wheel, but also how you maintain the vehicle. For some, this is common sense- look after your car, and it will look after you. But a lot of us rely on our vehicle to get us to where we want and don’t give it much consideration beyond that. Maintenance is all about getting into the habit of looking for the small problems that can develop into bigger ones later on. While a lot of maintenance issues relate to depreciation, one simple way to keep on top of this is to have your car serviced regularly. It’s a basic requirement, especially if you have your vehicle on a lease. But there are various car services that can be done, not just the typical maintenance. For example, you can get your car serviced ready for the winter months or have it inspected to ensure it complies with the emissions regulations. This is important if you’ve got an old car, but you can visit for services you can expose your car to. A lot of us don’t consider the battering our car takes for us, especially if we drive in a whole manner of conditions. Something as simple as the window seals can take quite a beating. All you have to do is clean your car’s weatherstripping on a regular basis, and this will lessen the damage. Ultimately, keeping on top of your maintenance is your responsibility. Keeping an auto log is one of those simple things you can do as you go, such as every time you fill up the tank. If you notice that the mileage decreases over time, this could be one of many early warning signs that there’s a problem with the vehicle.

The other side of the equation is all about how you drive. If you drive a lot, especially during rush hour traffic, you may not give a second thought to how you drive, and if there’s a gap, you go for it! Instead, looking at your own individual habits and making some alterations won’t just make for a more improved journey, but it could save you a lot of money. Because we are so used to getting somewhere with speed, we don’t necessarily think about how we accelerate or brake. But, making sure that we do these actions as smoothly as possible, and this includes anticipating traffic a couple of cars in front, will greatly improve fuel consumption. So many of us drive in an aggressive manner, and this means that we are constantly revving the engine and not thinking about small things like clutch control. So if you get frustrated about the car in front of you driving at such a slow speed or taking their time to accelerate, you need to think that they are saving a lot more money than you. Likewise, if you think that by driving somewhere fast saves time, and therefore fuel, you are very much mistaken! Even though your car is running for less time, the faster you go, especially over 50 miles an hour, the fuel economy decreases. And while it might be frustrating to feel like you’re Driving Miss Daisy on occasion, if you plan your journeys, rather than just head out when you need to, you may very well get to where you’re going quicker. If you end up being stuck in traffic, the temptation to turn the engine off makes you think you are saving fuel, but this isn’t the case. If you have an automatic, you will be burning as much fuel to put the engine on as you would be stuck in neutral gear in a traffic jam. While it can’t be helped sometimes, if you plan your journey, especially those epic ones, you will anticipate a lot of problems and save fuel and money. And on the topic of saving fuel, think about your car in terms of some basic physics. The more you put in your car, the more energy your car needs to get to where it is going, and therefore, the more fuel is burned. The solution? Lose weight! Now, this isn’t anything against you, but if you’ve got pointless items sitting in the car, from golf clubs to an anvil (obviously, if you’re after that pesky Road Runner), take them out! Driving economically is about thinking economically, and removing 45 kg of weight from the vehicle can improve your fuel economy by approximately 2%. While this is a very small percentage, you should think about it in the long term. 2% fuel economy saved in every journey you make will add up to a major saving over time!

Ask anyone who’s been driving for a long time, and they’ll tell you what is best for your vehicle. But, for these people that have been driving 50 years, and the changes in automobile technology mean that they are very much out of date. Nowadays, something like warming up your engine before getting out on the road doesn’t save fuel economy. And it is important to realize, for the various misconceptions people have nowadays, there are so many people that don’t think about the basics that actually help save you money. When it comes to getting value out of your car, it’s not just about the cost of the vehicle, but about how you maintain it. And you need to think about what you’re using it for on a daily basis. And yes, while it’s more expensive upfront to buy a car built for long journeys and rough terrain, if you plan on going on many adventures, this is going to save you a lot of money in the end. Your car can bleed you dry, but it doesn’t have to be the case, as long as you have some worthwhile habits.

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