Well, summer is officially over and we’re deep into autumn. You can tell by the onset of wind, rain, and occasional bursts of snow we’re in for a rough patch. This means it’s time to adapt your driving style, but you’ll also be eager to save money as the winter roles in, as well as adding an extra edge of security in potentially hazardous conditions.
The following tips are an ideal way to ensure you stay safe and secure, whilst saving money, over the following 5 or so months. Jot down these ideas and you’ll be able to use them in subsequent years, adding extra saved money you can stockpile for things such as better Christmas present for loved ones!
- Fuel saving techniques
Changing your driving style in the autumn and winter is a good idea as it can help you save fuel as the weeks and months elapse.
To start things off, you should ensure your tyres are properly inflated as cold temperatures decreases the pressure in your tyres. Making sure your wheels are aligned is another good option, as is avoiding sitting around in your car with the engine on wasting time. This wastes a lot of fuel (at any time of year, obviously) but is made worse in the cold weather.
The myth is this is good for a winter warmup, but this isn’t the case in the modern era of driving when gadget laden cars have no problem with this, and instead you’ll be straining the engine and wasting energy.
- Take out excess weigh
Try not to overburden your vehicle with superfluous weight. If there’s, for instance, a foldout bike you leave sitting around in the back for emergencies, this will lead to wasted fuel. The same goes for any racks you might have left on the roof of you vehicle, as this adds aerodynamic resistance which, as the miles add up, leads to wasted fuel as you’re being slowed down.
Some of these may sound trivial, but they genuinely do add up – you simply have to think of the long-term impact of a roof rack on your car as you’re driving at around 30mph. You’ll be slowed down a lot! You can read this fuel saving guide to find out more.
- Fit new tyres
By “new tyres” I mean, ideally, a brand new set of all-season or winter tyres. The latter are particularly effective at getting your car from A to B with the minimum of fuss. They’re designed to deal with the cool temperatures, and not simply for snow, so you get the maximum grip and safety features as you’d expect.
Ultimately, having these fitted will reduce your rolling resistance – you’ll save more fuel and there will be less wear on your tyres’ contact patches, meaning you won’t damage the likes of summer tyres, if you have them fitted.
- Don’t damage your car if it’s frozen!
It’s a tempting tactic to pour boiling hot water over your car if it’s frozen first thing in the morning. It’s something of a tradition – the sight of the stricken driver attempting to coax his car to life after a bitterly cold night.
However, pouring boiling hot water on your car can damage it. The right temperature water to use is between 35-55 degrees – this will remove ice easily. If you use boiling water, you could simply shatter your windows!
Similarly, if there’s a shelf of snow on top of your car simply brush if off. Pouring boiling water on that is another very good way to damage your vehicle. Check out how to save your car this winter for more advanced tips.
- Drive safely!
At winter, you can be hit with the most hazardous conditions you’ll see all year. Wind, rain, slush, snow, ice, thick fog, and a combination of all can hit you simultaneously. It goes without saying the more sensible you are when driving, the less chance you’ll have of being involved in an accident.
Indeed, if the weather is so bad it’s dangerous to head out onto the road, walk or use public transport to get to your destination. It’s as simple as this – don’t put yourself in undue danger. Be safe and enjoy the Christmas season!
Katie is a finance specialist with one of the biggest firms in London. From savings to investments, there’s nothing she can’t advise on and she’s here to help spread the word and help you on your way to financial freedom.