Are High Gas Prices Encouraging You To Downsize?

by Mike on April 30, 2012

Gas Sign

It’s no secret that the rising cost of petrol is putting increased pressure on motorists at the moment, with many of them looking for ways to reduce their monthly fuel bill. There are various methods of cutting the cost of petrol, even if the government has so far refused to reduce fuel duty to help the public keep control of their finances more effectively.

Recent predictions from the Ernst & Young ITEM Club suggest that the cost of a tank of petrol could top 100 pounds by 2015, leaving families to foot an even greater bill during these tough times. Downsize your vehicle: There are many benefits to driving a smaller vehicle, not least because they tend to be much more efficient than their gas-guzzling counterparts. A British Car Auctions (BCA) survey recently found that 27 per cent of motorists will be in search of better fuel economy from their next vehicle, which may see a surge in demand for smaller cars. Tim Naylor from the BCA commented: We are already seeing demand for these cars outstrip supply, which means rising prices for low mileage, good quality stock.

Other benefits to running a smaller vehicle include reductions in car insurance costs, as companies often look favourably on those with more efficient cars. Scrap the second car, it is not uncommon for families to have two or more vehicles at their disposal – but is more than one really necessary? Families could benefit from weighing up whether the second or third vehicle is essential, which can severely reduce outgoings month after month. One party may be able to use public transport to get to and from work, which is something worth considering by those who are really struggling to make ends meet.

The BCA’s Tim Naylor reveals that the number of two-car households has declined by five per cent over the past 12 months alone – a trend that is likely to continue. Update to a newer model Motorists who do have the cash to upgrade their existing car to a newer model could find it saves them cash in the long run. This, however, is only likely to be beneficial for particularly old cars. Manufacturers are constantly providing new technology to cut their customers emissions, while reducing their petrol usage at the same time. Car showrooms are required to demonstrate how fuel efficient each new car is with an A to G rating. A indicates the most economical car, while G is the worst. Aside from saving money on petrol, drivers of downsized vehicles will also find their road tax is cut, which in itself can reduce outgoings year on year.

Consider alternative fuels, an increasing number of vehicles are now reaching the market that run off a range of more efficient fuels. Biofuels and LPG are used to power some cars, while others run off electricity. It is likely to be the case that these become more mainstream over the coming years, as both manufacturers and consumers alike recognise the need for vehicles to reduce their impact on the environment. Petrol or diesel? Many drivers will have a preference for either petrol or diesel vehicles, which could affect how much they spend on fuel in an average month. Petrol engines are generally less fuel efficient than their diesel counterparts and produce more CO2. Diesel engines, on the other hand, give off more air pollutants that contribute to poor air quality in towns and cities. In some cases, diesel cars will be fitted with a diesel particulate filter that helps to eradicate some of these pollutants.

**Photo by micah.d**

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