If you’ve been in Metro Manila for some time now, you would know that traffic has gone from bad to degrees worse. For commuters, long hours of commute would cost wasted time and the anxiety of arriving late (again) for class or work. This is easily solved by downloaded Netflix shows, Spotify music, or mobile games.

The same cannot be true for drivers, whether private or public utilities. Being stuck in traffic does not only waste your time and energy but, more importantly, your money. Frequent driving stops, usually caused by heavy traffic, leads to inefficient use of fuel by your car engine. Compared to when you’re driving unbothered, you’re unnecessarily burning fuel (and thus, money) by occasionally pausing and moving again in the middle of traffic. A 15-minute stop in traffic uses 0.1 to 0.6 liters of fuel, depending on your vehicle. The average price per liter of fuel is PHP 51.09. That means being stuck for 15 minutes costs you a maximum of PHP 30.65!

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In the long run, fuel inefficiency also leads to faster wear and tear of your car engine. This is also because of frequent acceleration and braking that usually damages a vehicle’s related parts faster. And as you know, maintenance and repair require money, as well. This is why we, at GoBear, have provided you with tips to save fuel and money so you can make the most out of your Metro Manila drives!

TIP #1: Own a fuel-efficient car

Now, this might be a little late for those who’ve already been driving for a while. But if you’re planning to purchase a car, whether or not to traverse the city traffic, pick the most efficient one! In 2018, Kia Picanto was ranked as one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the Philippines at 29.23 km/L. To top this feature, this car is also ranked among the cheapest car in the Philippines! Both the price and fuel efficiency are mainly because of the Picanto’s build size. Smaller vehicles like sedans and hatchbacks usually consume less fuel than SUVs, minivans, or crossovers. They’re also cheaper compared to bigger counterparts!

Another attempt at making frequent stops lighter on the car is a continuous variable transmission (CVT) as it allows the engine to run at a constant, fuel-efficient manner even with continuously changing gears to accommodate your needs. You can compare personal loans, or find the best auto loan offers with GoBear!

TIP #2: Be a consistent driver

By consistent, we mean driving at a constant speed (as much as traffic allows). Don’t accelerate suddenly when the car in front of you starts to move. Avoid your bumper being too close to the preceding vehicle’s rear. This gives you more time to slowly accelerate or decelerate your car instead of introducing a sudden power surge to move or stop it.

Unless you’re taking the next left/ right turn, stay on your lane. You might think you’ll be arriving earlier to your destination when switching to a seemingly faster lane. What happens is you interrupt the flow of vehicles in your current path to the lane you’re switching to. When many cars do this, the momentary delay builds up to worsen the traffic!

shell citi

TIP #3: Lighten up

And we don’t mean you! The junk in your trunk has to go. It might not be too much of an addition, but it offsets your car’s balance a little. Notice that when you go home from the grocery, it’s harder to turn. Plus, the additional weight means your engine has to work more to move your vehicle.

If you think that filling your trunk to the brim, and refilling only when it’s empty is the more efficient way, then you’re wrong. Car tanks have a fuel capacity ranging from 16 to 40 gallons. If you fill your 40-gallon tank, that would mean you’re carrying an average of 20 gallons at all times. That’s if you only refill after emptying the tank. Meanwhile, if you fill only half your container, that’s 20 gallons, then you’d only be carrying an average of 10 gallons instead of 20. That’s a lot lighter, less demanding to your engine, and more fuel- and cost-efficient!

If you want to save more on gas, use your Shell Citi Card and get up to a 5% rebate on fuel purchases at participating Shell stations. 

TIP #4: Keep up with regular vehicle maintenance

Make sure that your car is in optimal working condition when you regularly visit your mechanic. Tire pressure is essential because it reduces with time and decreasing temperature. Rolling resistance increases with this decreasing pressure. This means your car has to use more power to move. Under-inflated tires are also the main reason for tire blowouts. You wouldn’t want that!

We won’t ask you to open your windows and ditch the air conditioning in NCR heat and traffic, but at least clean your air filters. The AC drains fuel enough already. Avoid unnecessary power consumption by using clean filters! If you can’t clean these out yourself, then all the more reason you need a mechanic. They wouldn’t just deal with flat tires or dirty filters but maintain and improve the overall performance of your engine

TIP #5:  Save on more than just fuel

After all, is said and done, who wouldn’t want additional savings? Get rewarded for spending on fuel! There are credit cards, specially made for drivers like you. For example, the HSBC Platinum Visa credit card gives clients 6% rebates on first, and 3% on succeeding Caltex transactions and fuel purchases! Some fuel companies also offer independent rewards cards where you can earn and redeem points whenever you fuel up.

credit card

Bottom line:

Owning a car is expensive enough. Avoid unnecessary maintenance costs and top-up fuel consumption with these tips. Not only will you save money, but you’ll find that drivers will generally be better even with the heavy Metro Manila traffic! Save more money by avoiding car repair costs when they can be shouldered by trusty car insurance. Compare and pick a car insurance quote with GoBear today!

GoBear team

GoBear team

GoBear Team - Our content creators collaborate to come up with finance articles that will make financial literacy a joy to learn and financial security an attainable goal.