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How to Make Winter Commuting More Affordable

21st January 2021

Your daily commute can cost a lot more in the winter months, as cold weather has a big impact on fuel efficiency. According to fuel economy tests, a car’s mileage is around 12% lower when driven in temperatures of about -5°C compared to 25°C, when city driving. What’s more, this can fall by a much as 22% for really short daily commutes of around three miles.

Long journeys also aren’t as efficient in the cold and this increased cost of commuting can impact on your budgeting – especially around the expensive festive period.

There are things you can do to help with this though and these tips should help you out financially for your daily trip to work this winter.

Improve Your Car’s Performance

For those who rely on their car for their daily commute, preparing it for a cold snap is the best way to make sure it will run safely and efficiently. You can:

  • Switch to winter tyres. These will improve grip and driveability, while inflating them to the correct pressures improves fuel efficiency.
  • Store your car in a garage to keep the initial temperature of the engine warmer.
  • Only use heated seats, steering wheels and windscreens when necessary, as they increase the load on the engine and lower your MPG.
  • Check the oil and switch to the manufacturer’s recommended variety, as some advise using different oil for each season.
  • Try to avoid the traffic where possible, as idling for too long will also see your MPG drop.

Consider a New Vehicle

It could be that your current vehicle simply isn’t up to scratch and that now is a good time to make a change to something more economical.

Our car loans could help you tie down a new vehicle, whether you’re looking for a compact city car or a SUV that can tackle those snow-covered country roads. Often some of the most economical cars are those with smaller engines, though a hybrid or electric vehicle can be even better.

Make Alternative Travel Arrangements

With long commutes it may be worth considering other ways of getting to work aside from driving. If you live somewhere that means driving to work is the only option then make it more affordable and better for the environment by lift-sharing with a colleague, if you can. Having them contribute to fuel costs can make a big difference or switching so you take turns driving can halve your cost of commuting.

Other alternative commuting tips include using public transport, whether it’s taking the bus or train to work instead. This will of course depend on the costs of a weekly ticket compared to fuel and other running costs.

Change Where You Work

Getting rid of any long commutes by securing a job at a location closer to home will certainly help reduce the costs. However, if you enjoy your current role, and depending on the nature of the job, a better choice might be to trial flexible working.

Those in a position where they can work from home a couple of days a week will also benefit from a more affordable daily commute. Or you might be able to make the most of a shared working space closer to home.

Your cost of commuting over winter can be greatly reduced and made more affordable through many of the above methods, so why not give them a try?

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