Top tips for saving fuel and money

Petrol is as expensive as ever, so here are some tips to cut down your travel costs.

petrol pump

Credit: Wikimedia

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The price of oil might have dropped significantly with the current financial crisis, but we're still feeling the pinch at the pump.

And since oil is non-renewable resource, petrol is only going to get more expensive - the head of shell has said peak oil will hit in 2015.

So here's some top tips, from the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, for saving transport miles and money.

  1. Car pooling

    The biggest advantage of car-pooling is that it's free - you can use your current car without buying a single thing.

    Most of our cars tend carry only one person at a time a recent survey showed that Australians are among the worst in the world for single driver car trips.

    Increasing the number of people in your car from one to two will effectively halve your fuel consumption (per person)!

    A small car carrying two people is roughly as fuel efficient as if the same two people were each riding motor-scooters. Car-pooling encourages community growth and there are already a bunch of websites dedicated to assisting people to find car-pool buddies - whether you are looking for a ride in someone else's car or offering a seat in your own.

  2. The one-car household

    Until quite recently, it was uncommon for households to own more than one car - now many households own two cars - and that's twice the cost.

    There are enormous savings to be made just by unregistering a car. You'll save money on registration, insurance and maintenance. And, having one less car forces you to car pool - at least with your own family, so you'll notice a decrease in fuel costs too.

  3. Public transport

    In terms of fuel consumption per person, buses are potentially better than any other form of powered transport on the road, perhaps with the exception of some electric bicycles. If you factor in the cost (including money, time and stress!) of parking your car in the city, public transport is the better option.

    Assuming you pay an adult bus fare - about $2.50 if you use a mulipass ticket - short trips are cheaper by car than by bus. However, if you have to pay any more than $3 for parking, then the bus will beat the car even on a short return trip!

    But don't forget that you should factor in the cost of registering and maintaining a car, then the savings are much more than just the cost of the petrol.

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