Posted Thursday, June 28 2012 at 01:00
- Many people consider owning a car a sign of wealth and success. However, with the high cost of fuel, this means of transport takes a big chunk of the expenses on the list of vehicle owners. Here is useful information on how to check the cost.
Three months ago, when Kenya struck oil, the citizenry received the news with jubilation. Despite a few voices expressing fears that the country could slide into civil strife because of the resource, the dominant sentiment was that it would help stabilise the soaring cost of fuel.
The cost of transport has been rising steeply over the past few years as a consequence of high global oil prices. As a result, transport has become one of the highest expenses for families and businesses.
It is estimated that transport charges consume about 40 per cent of the total cost of services in Kenya. With the perpetual traffic snarl-ups that characterise Kenyan roads, consumers have to dig deeper into their pockets to meet transport costs.
It does not help that the Energy Regulatory Commission, the national authority charged with setting the pump prices, more often than not announces increases.
Some people have even stopped using personal vehicles because of escalating fuel prices.
According to experts, your car should not be a source of financial distress if you bought it with the aim of improving your personal or business life.
Whether you drive a small car or a high-capacity commercial vehicle, experts say that it is possible to squeeze more distance from each litre of fuel. This is news that every driver should welcome, especially in the current tough economic conditions.
According to Mr Joe Mungai, a professional driver and trainer at DT Dobie, it is possible to save up to 30 per cent of fuel costs by just changing some habits on and off the road.
Mr Mungai trains customers — drivers of both and commercial and personal vehicles — in high-efficiency driving and claims astounding results in generating savings.
“You do not require to make any change to your car’s engine. It is just a change in your behaviour as a driver that can end up saving a lot of money,” he said.
Mr Morris Newa, one of his trainees, says, “I have managed to cut my monthly fuel budget by 25 per cent since I went through the training in 2010. It makes you responsible on the road and gives you the a feeling of being in control.
“The trick is simple; stop revving too much, reduce your braking, stay alert, and anticipate but do not compete with other people on the road,” says Mr Newa.
Mr Jesse Muniu said he now spends only half of the fuel he used to use to cover the same distance. “I used to spend about Sh4,000 a week but this has since come down to slightly over Sh2,000,” he said.
According to Mr Mungai, a change in your driving techniques will be reflected in your budget.
Here are some tips that you can apply to cut your car budget through reduced fuel expenses, check the wear and tear of your car, and more importantly, reduce medical expenses as a result of road accidents.
Avoid unnecessary braking
According to Mr Mungai, the more you brake, the faster your brake pads wear out and the more the fuel you use. The start/stop mode of driving keeps interrupting the momentum of your car, meaning that you have to rebuild it anew to get back to a good cruising speed.
If you let go of the accelerator pedal, the car will automatically slow down, but rebuilding the momentum will be easier than when you brake and the car comes to a complete stop.