Ways to Save Fuel on Rental Cars
Whether you are on holiday, on a business travel or just need to hire a car for your road trip, it's possible to reduce your fuel bill. By changing the way you drive and checking the car hire's tyre pressure every few hundred miles, coupled with other essential saving tips will help minimise your fuel consumption. We at VroomVroomVroom have compiled a list of things you need to consider to save a few extra bucks and avoid spending too much on petrol when driving your rental car. Check out the 10 best tricks below.
Stick to the speed limit
- Always pay attention to why, where and when driving your car hire,
- Avoid aggressive driving and keep a steady pace.
- Speed limits vary throughout Australia and are measured in kilometres per hour (km/h).
- Be sure to maintain a speed of 50 km/h if you are uncertain of the speed limit. For more driving tips in Australia, click here.
- Use cruise control on the highways.
- Drive steadily and avoid tailgating.
Slow down by releasing the accelerator
- Accelerate gently and go easy on the brakes. Avoid hard breaking.
- Make sure to scan ahead to see when you will need to slow down (e.g. at traffic lights).
- Be considerate! Slamming on the brakes should be strictly for emergencies only.
Know when to use AC
- Use the AC in moderation.
- If you feel you don't need it for cooling (when it's not hot), turn it off. Be cool, chill out and let the air flow.
- Use the "re-circulating" function or set your AC at a reasonable, low setting.
Don't idle your engine
- Don't let the engine run when you are not driving.
- If you are waiting or loading/unloading, turn the engine off rather than letting it idle.
- Idling can consume half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour.
Plan your schedule and avoid rush hour
- Search for the most direct route to your destination before your trip.
- Use sat-nav like GPS or Waze rather than driving around without direction.
- Avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic jams and road construction by using some systems like Google maps, or a site like www.livetraffic.com.
- Remember: driving less miles means less fuel.
Keep your tyres pumped up
- If you are taking a long road trip, inspect your rental car's tyre pressure every few hundred miles.
- To keep things running smoothly, maintain it above 50kPa.
- Make sure also to keep your tyres properly inflated.
Lighten your load
- Excess weight makes your rental car wastes fuel.
- Do not pack or include things you don't need - get rid of unnecessary items.
- Keep your hire car as light as possible.
Know the best time to fill up
- If you are travelling long distances, be aware of the vehicle's fuel tank size before leaving the depot.
- In remote parts of Australia, petrol stations can be difficult to find, and you don't want to get caught out on outback highways.
- Ensure you know what type of fuel your rental car takes.
- Remember that petrol prices can move up and down in regular patterns or cycles.
- According to National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA), "the cheapest day for petrol is actually a Tuesday or Wednesday. While Thursday is said to be the most expensive day."
- However, "the cheapest and most expensive days to buy petrol can change from cycle to cycle," as stated by Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACC).
- Another tip is to avoid overfilling and make sure to wait until your tank are near empty.
Use apps for cheap petrol
- Download the PetrolSpy app on your phone to help you find the best prices and nearest petrol stations.
- Another must-have app that we recommend is the MotorMouth.
- Please note that MotorMouth app covers Sydney, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
Check your rental fuel policy
- In terms of rental fuel policy, please be reminded that different rental companies have different fuel policies.
- The 'full to full' is the most common, which means you may opt to pick the car up with a full tank and then return it with a full tank. Hertz provides you the option of pre-paying for a full tank of fuel at competitive market rates. Avis and other rental car companies also offer similar pre-purchase options. Please note, however, that no refund will be given for unused fuel.
- Take note also that other hire car companies permit a 'full to empty' policy, where you may pick up the car with a full tank of fuel and return it empty.
- Choose what suits you best (and where you can save the most money).