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Seven things you can do to save money


8 July 2008

Seven things you can do to save money on your petrol bill

As petrol prices rise again, motorists around the country will be feeling the pinch when filling up at the pump.

'Prices are rising at an unprecendented rate, and they are not showing any sign of abating,' said Mike Underhill, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). 'But there are things that people can do that will make their tankful go a lot further.'

EECA recommends these simple actions that can help you save fuel and reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 20% - that is effectively 2 months free petrol!

Regular vehicle maintenance - check tyre pressure, wheel alignment, engine timing, air filter and spark plugs. If your tyre pressure is too low you could be wasting 5% of your fuel.

Slow down - as well as increasing accident risks, driving over the speed limit on the open road increases fuel costs. By travelling at 100 km/hour instead of 110km/hour you can trim around 13% from your fuel bill.

Drive smoothly and look ahead - check what's happening, maintain a safe following distance and you'll keep a more constant speed. This uses less fuel than accelerating and braking heavily all the time.

Watch your air con - having the air-conditioning on uses up to 10% more fuel.

Keep the load down - each 50kg of extra weight increases fuel consumption by around 2%.

Choose an energy efficient car - when you're thinking about buying a new car, choose a car that uses less fuel - and still suits your lifestyle. Look for the fuel economy label on cars for sale and at - which allows you to easily compare the fuel use of different cars. The average car in New Zealand is over 12 years old and burns through over 10 litres per 100 kilometres. In contrast, newer cars have much greater fuel economy, using as little as half the fuel required to travel 100 kilometres.

Get out of the car - currently more than a third of our car journeys are two kilometres or less - it doesn't take long to walk that far. Take public transport, share a ride with someone else or ride your bike - once or twice a week.

For more information about how you travel more energy efficiently and for energy saving tips at home, visit or call 0800 749 782


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