6 Tips To Save Money As A Van Driver
''Matthew Dillon, Head of Commercial Vehicles at vehicle leasing experts LeasePlan UK''
If you’re looking for ways to save money, there are a few things you can do right now that should have a small but significant impact on your expenses. Here are my top tips:
Inflation is soaring, and the rising cost of living is forcing many people to make drastic decisions about their day-to-day operations. Van drivers are among those badly affected: the cost of fuel continues to fluctuate within a highly volatile market, which means the average cost of each journey has jumped drastically.
1. Plan your trip:
You’ll know where you’re going but planning ahead with your trip can make for a more efficient journey. If you know what you’ll need for your day, you can load your van accordingly, so you aren’t carrying extra weight. Keep items on the roof rack to a minimum to reduce fuel and potential theft. If you don’t need to use the roof rack, remove it completely. Consider having any bulky or heavy items delivered.
2. Keep up with maintenance:
Keeping up with maintenance on your van is the easiest way to ensure it stays in the best and safest condition possible; it’s also a good way of saving some money on fuel. There will be a temptation to either miss or be late for servicing. However, from our experience maintaining thousands of vehicles, this approach is usually a false economy over a longer period of time.
3. Keep an eye on your tyres:
Tyre pressure is a surprising way of using more fuel than you need to. Some studies suggest that poor tyre pressure can affect fuel economy by reducing it as much as 10%. Too much pressure can cause as much damage to the tyre and fuel use as a tyre that is underinflated. You should also make sure the tread is sufficient. Knowing how the tyres are wearing will help you budget ahead for their replacement.
4. Don’t be hasty:
Sharp braking and accelerating can reduce your fuel economy and increase wear and tear on brakes and tyres. Keep your driving smooth and steady, anticipating what is happening ahead in plenty of time.
5. Think about aircon
While it’s tempting to crank this up (especially on the hot summer days), it will eat into your fuel consumption. If driving at lower speeds, it can be more efficient to have the windows open. There is no need to have air conditioning on all the time – find a balance of having it turned on for a shorter time.
6. Do your research:
We all know fuel prices are sky high, but the prices aren’t the same at every pump. It wouldn’t make sense to drive miles for cheaper fuel, as you would use more to get there. However, if you have the option to fill up at different fuel pumps nearby, researching where the cheapest rates are can keep costs lower. If you’re planning a longer trip, researching cheaper fuel pumps along the journey can help to minimise costs. If you’re a fleet manager, keeping your drivers informed on where the best pumps are can benefit the fuel cost.