When it comes to cars in Singapore, buying one is already so expensive that some people think it’s pointless trying to save on the peripheral costs of actually running it. That of course, is a huge mistake. While you might not be able to control how much you end up paying for your ERP tolls in certain situations, you can most definitely save a significant amount on other things such as car insurance and most definitely on fuel.
It remains an almost certainty that fuel prices in Singapore aren’t going to drop to the kinds of lows that would make you not even bat an eyelid when going to top up your fuel tank, so here are 5 ways that you’re burning petrol and wasting money, and you might not even know it:
1. Adding Unnecessary Weight To Your Car
If you were to pop the boot of some people’s cars, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were planning on setting up a mobile mamashop as a sideline business. Things ranging from golf sets, to baskets carrying a whole load of random household items, all add additional weight to your car.
In case you’re actually wondering why this is even an issue, the simple explanation is that the more weight your vehicle carries, the more fuel it uses. Without going into a complex physics lesson, the heavier the car, the more force is required to move it, and of course, the thing that helps to generate that force is (in part) – petrol.
Apart from storing a whole bunch of useless junk in your car, other additions such as car modifications that add significant weight to your car like nice looking rims may probably do a little for your ego, but are of no help to your wallet.
Driving your car in a lower gear consumes more fuel as the lower gears are engineered to generate more power initially to get your car moving from a slow moving or stationary position. I know a lot of drivers who just step on the accelerator pedal and hold it there till the car picks up significant speed.
Easing up on the accelerator allows the car, which in Singapore is mostly automatic transmissions, to shift up gear faster and smoother and reduces unnecessary overconsumption of fuel.
3. Not Inflating Your Tyres Sufficiently
This is something less experienced drivers are guilty of. The other group of people that fall into this category are lazy people, like myself. But I’ve tried to make it a point to regularly inflate my tires.
Having semi-deflated tires and not making sure they are aligned properly all causes drag, which basically is resistance between your wheels and the road surface. Once again, just like point 1, this results in your car having to spend more fuel just to get your car moving. Imagine, in an extreme case, trying to run in thick mud.
4. Keeping Your Car Idling
We don’t know why, but Singaporeans just love waiting in their cars. Sure, the weather is pretty unbearable and air conditioning is lovely, but leaving your car idling is really a huge waste of fuel.
There’s been plenty of debate as to whether or not it’s better to keep idling or turn off the car first. But the long short of this is that it only takes an amount of fuel equivalent to idling for a few seconds to start your car up, and most modern cars are a lot more efficient when it comes to starting up.
Leaving your car idling on the other hand, can lead to longer term issues with your engine, and would end up costing you a lot more than just petrol money, so this is definitely something to keep in mind not just to save money on fuel, but on car maintenance as well!
5. Not Keeping Track of Petrol Savings
It’s understandable that many people have a “go-to” place to pump petrol, either as a function of convenience or some unknown brand loyalty. But there is a significant cost saving involved if you are armed with the right credit card. With fuel costs easily amounting between $300-500 a month, a difference of 14% and 21% total savings does add up.
As you might have seen in our article on the best credit cards for petrol in Singapore, we also mentioned that credit card savings do change from time to time, so if you’re really looking for a card that maximizes total savings, the clear winner is The American Express® Platinum Card. With a total saving that amounts to 21% at SPC Stations, this is the Card to have if you want to save big on petrol. The card, however, isn’t solely a petrol card, and actually offers a bunch of mindblowing dining savings, which we covered previously as well. If you’re interested, you can easily apply for the card here.