Transport makes up a large part of the average household budget — about 14 per cent or $136 a week. There are some easy ways that you can save fuel and money while helping the environment.
SAVING FUEL IS EASY
The condition of your car, and your driving style, can increase your car’s fuel consumption by up to 50 per cent. Keep your car well serviced and your tyres pumped, or you’ll be using up to 10 per cent more fuel. Extra weight such as a bike rack can add a further 10 per cent, air conditioning a further 5 per cent and your driving style can add another 25 per cent.
WALK OR CYCLE INSTEAD OF DRIVING
Car engines use 20 per cent more fuel when cold. One-third of all car trips cover less than two kilometres – not long enough for the engine to warm up – and two-thirds are shorter than six kilometres. Consider cutting down on those short trips by combining them into one big trip or walking or cycling when you can.
Sharing car trips saves money on fuel, lessens wear and tear by using your car less and can be a social event. Ask if your neighbours or workmates travel the same way as you, and organise to car pool.
TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT WHEN YOU CAN
Using public transport saves you money on petrol and reduces your carbon dioxide emissions; it can also be more relaxing than driving. Your regional council can provide information on routes, timetables and fares.
CHOOSE A MORE EFFICIENT VEHICLE
When looking for a car, compare the environmental and fuel performance of vehicles at www.rightcar.govt.nz. A more efficient car can save you money and reduce carbon emissions. When purchasing a car think about your usual driving habits to guide your decision. Look for the vehicle’s fuel economy label to guide your decision.