6. Unload your junk
Don’t use your car to store junk. The heavier your car, the harder the engine has to work and the more fuel you’ll burn through. So clear out your back seats and boot to the bare necessities only.
7. Save on insurance
Ask your insurer for any discounts that are available. Some insurers offer multi-policy discounts if they have two or more policies, and the savings can really add up.
8. Lose the roof racks
If you’re not using them, take the roof racks off because they create wind drag and affect a car’s aerodynamic performance. Take off those roof storage tubs too if you want to cut fuel use. Keeping the windows and sun roof closed will also help improve your car’s aerodynamic performance and fuel efficiency.
9. Don’t warm up
Remember the days when dad would ‘warm up the car’ by turning on the engine five minutes before hitting the road. Modern cars don’t need time to warm up to achieve the optimal temperature for driving, so leaving the car to idle is simply wasting petrol and money.
10. Cool it down
When you hop into a hot car, open the windows to let out the hot air and turn the air-conditioner on to recirculation.That way you are cooling the same air from inside repeatedly instead of drawing in hot air from outside.
11. Cruise down the highway
Cruise control maintains your speed, so you’re not slowing down then accelerating again, which uses more fuel. Modern cars have an economy button which is great for long trips and saves petrol but it can make the car less zippy and unsuitable for most city driving.
12. Go the long way... sometimes
There are times you might save money by driving further. If the direct route is congested it can cost money to sit in traffic while an alternative but longer route is quicker and uses less fuel.
13. Combine errands
Need to go to the post office, the bank and the supermarket? Combining them all in one trip will save on fuel, as your car uses far less petrol when the engine is warm than starting from cold.
14. Drive economically
You don’t have to drive like an L-plater to save on fuel, but rapid acceleration and hard braking chew through fuel. Drive smoothly and maintain a steady speed to get the most from a tankful. If you’re driving an automatic, ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car has reached sufficient speed. In a manual, use the gearbox sensibly and change up through the gears as soon as practical.
15. Keep it clean
If your car is starting to look grimy, it might be time to grab a bucket, sponge and some wax, and show it a bit of TLC. Dust, mud and spots of bird droppings left on your car can damage the paintwork and wipe thousands of dollars off your car’s resale value. Nicholas says there is also some evidence to suggest a car is more aerodynamic when it's clean, thereby using less fuel. Another reason to break out that bucket.
16. Choose your carpark
Car parking can be expensive, particularly if you work in the city. Leaving your car on the city fringe then catching a tram or walking to work could save you a lot of money over the course of a year.
17. Get a free driver’s licence
If you’re under 25 and have a clean driving record, you could be eligible for a free three-year driver’s licence. VicRoads’ Free Licence Scheme is designed to reward young drivers for good driving while on their P-plates. To be eligible you need to have got your P1 licence before turning 21, had a Victorian probationary licence for four years, have no demerit points and have committed no traffic-related offences.