The Family Car: Sensible Ways to Choose a Safe and Fuel Efficient Vehicle

Did you know that a car that gets 20 miles per gallon costs almost $600 more to drive every year than a vehicle that gets 30 mpg? It’s true. Do the math, and you’ll realize that a less fuel efficient car that is driven 15,000 miles per year at a fuel cost of $2.33 can cost upwards of $3,000 more to drive over the course of five short years. Nobody wants to waste money, especially when we speak about fuel economy or car insurance, as Follow a few simple tips to select a safe, fuel efficient vehicle.

Choose a fuel efficient vehicle

Before you purchase any new or used vehicle, visit the U.S. Department of Energy website to view gas mileage estimates on cars that are as old as 1984 models. Once you’ve made your car selection, drive mindfully always. Lessen drag on the car by removing bike racks and luggage racks when not in active use. Racks mounted on the car exterior reduce fuel economy more than you might know. Have your vehicle tuned regularly and avoid carbon buildup on spark plugs and other engine parts. Engines that are well-tuned offer maximum power and superior fuel economy.

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Smart car driving tips that save fuel

Boost your gas mileage by an average of 0.6% when you keep your tires properly inflated at the right pressure. Look for a sticker inside the driver side door to find the right pressure for your particular vehicle. Don’t rely on the number embossed on the side of the tire. Properly maintained tires not only save fuel, they’re safer, too.

Don’t carry anything you don’t need. This means everything from bowling balls in the trunk to an elephant in the back seat. Okay, we’re kidding about the elephant, but seriously, the lighter your load, the better your fuel efficiency.

If your car is out of tune, address the issue without delay. You could boost your car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 4 percent. If your Chrysler Pacifica, or other vehicle failed an emissions test due to a faulty oxygen sensor, have it fixed to improve your fuel economy by nearly half.

Engage your cruise control on long expanses of highway. Driving at a steady pace reduces fuel consumption in a significant manner. Don’t drive with a ‘lead foot.’ Accelerate smoothly and come to a stop as slowly as safely possible. Stay close to the speed limit to save on fuel costs, too, says the Consumers Union.

Alternative commuting

If the company you work for allows telecommuting, try it for a while and see if working at home is a good fit for you. You’ll not only save a bundle on fuel, you won’t be putting yourself in peril on public roadways.

Ride a bike to work or carpool with coworkers. Avail yourself of public transportation and stop paying for gas completely. Ride-sharing programs help a lot of people get from here to there without the expense of owning a car.

Richard Pearce writes articles that discuss saving money, both long-term and short-term. He hopes you’ll find his words useful!