The people who drive like hell will surely get there
Posted Sunday, March 25 2012 at 00:00
- Maintain an even speed as much as possible (don’t go fast unless the prospects of maintaining high speed for some time look good)
There is a saying that “people who drive like hell will surely get there”. Fierce driving will ultimately hurt you – definitely in the wallet, probably in the body, and possibly in the soul.
The most economically efficient car is one that starts in reasonable condition, is regularly and professionally maintained, and is driven gently. “Gently” requires skill and concentration. People with that profile enjoy the lowest cost motoring.
So go for a reliable make and model and get the car into sound mechanical condition as soon as you buy it. Keep it in a good state by using a decent service agent and a regular maintenance (preventive and remedial) regime. Drive smoothly.
If you motor as if everything is about to break, nothing will. That recipe might not get you to heaven, but it will save you money, make you safer, and reduce your chances of ending up in “the other place”.
Assuming you are using the right vehicle for the right job – that is, not a 10-tonne truck to commute, or a Probox to carry building stones – before and above all other considerations, often the most important determinant of running economy is how the vehicle is driven.
Driving style has a greater effect on fuel consumption than any device yet invented, and a far, far greater effect than any recent or likely fuel price adjustment.
Although the effect of gentle driving is less immediately obvious on other aspects of wear and tear, the effect is just as real and can be even greater on the life of brakes, tyres, steering, engine, gearbox, suspension and even the bodywork. In trying to motor more gently and wisely, consider these points:
• Never neglect or compromise on regular checks or the quality of service parts.
• Keep everything, inside and out, clean, and all nuts and screws tight.
• If any part is worn to the extent that it rattles, replace it. Don’t try to eke extra life out of it and cause additional damage. Try to plan your journeys so you won’t have to hurry.
Accelerate gradually, and change into higher gears as soon as you can without labouring the engine. Look ahead and anticipate traffic flows so you can brake gently.
Maintain an even speed as much as possible (don’t go fast unless the prospects of maintaining high speed for some time look good).
A final word on gentle driving that will not only save you money but could also save your life: nowadays, the front of one queue is only the back of another.
Everybody else would like to get there sooner, too. Take your place and take your turn, and respect everybody else’s right to do the same.
Our traffic is a nightmare. But your dream machine can still be a sweet dream.