Gas prices got you walking?

Spend less on your least favourite car costs: gas and car insurance

Gas prices have increased, Canada-wide, and it is unknown when they'll come back down. Increasingly pinched at the pump, Canadians more than ever, are looking for ways to save on two of their least favourite car costs: gas and car insurance.

Save money at the pumps

Slow down
On most major Canadian highways the posted limit is 100 km/h. If you have a heavy foot and like to increase your cruising speed from 100 to 120 km/h, you are also increasing your vehicle's fuel consumption by about 20 per cent. Do you really want to buy 20 per cent more gas at today's prices?

Relax and enjoy the drive
Drivers with aggressive driving tendencies (like speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking), use up more fuel. It's estimated that driving aggressively lowers your gas mileage by roughly 15 to 30 per cent at highway speeds and 10 to 40 per cent in stop-and-go traffic.

Not driving? Turn off the car
Unless you're in traffic, turn off your car to minimize how much fuel you'll use. When parked and idling for just 10 minutes, the average vehicle wastes almost a third of a litre of fuel, making that trip to the drive-up window costly.

Keep your car maintained and running smoothly
Your car was designed with certain minimum requirements for optimal operation and when these minimums are not met your fuel-efficiency suffers. Consider:

  • Your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated helps your car run efficiently and can save you up to two weeks' worth of gas each year.
  • Your motor oil. Improve your gas mileage by 1-2 per cent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil—use anything else and you're not getting all you can from your car.

Save money on your auto insurance

While saving money at the pumps is something you can do every week, the following tips will ensure you have the tools needed to maximize your insurance savings too.

Select a higher insurance deductible
Policyholders with deductibles set to $500 could save up to 5 per cent by raising them to $1,000. Keep it affordable though because this is how much you'll have to cover should you need to submit a claim.

Don't pay for optional coverage you do not need
Review your policy to see if there are optional coverages or features included in your current policy that you may not need. For example, if you drive an older car you may no longer want collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or both.

Consider the cost of paying monthly
Many companies charge a little extra to cover the cost of administering payments every month, so if you can afford to pay your premium annually, rather than monthly, at the end of the day you'll pay less for your coverage.

Drive safely
OK, this one is obvious but true. Your driving record is one of the key factors in determining your insurance rate and tickets and at-fault accidents can affect your insurance rate for years. With a less than perfect driving record, you can find yourself paying much higher insurance premiums.

Shop around
Rates can vary wildly between insurers, and only by shopping around will you know you are getting your car insurance coverage at the best available rate. Don't pay more than you have to for the car insurance you need. Compare your car insurance rates and coverage for a better price. At Kanetix.ca, we search over 50 trusted insurance providers to help you save.

Gas-saving tips list compiled from information found on the websites for Natural Resources Canada and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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