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More Bang For Your Buck

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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Max Motors

More Bang For Your Buck

Geoff Maxted
November 25, 2013

Max Motors
In 2008, Max Motors of Butler Missouri, an enthusiastic car and pick-up dealer, was offering a special deal: buy a new vehicle and get either $250 worth of free fuel (and that’s a lot of gas in the USA) or a free semi-automatic pistol! Eighty percent of happy clients chose the shooter. One indignant viewer complained to the local TV station KMBC that he felt the promotion was dangerous. You don’t say, fella.

Still we can all dream, can’t we? Buy a new car, have a Kalashnikov thrown into the deal and subsequently get all the free fuel you want. Outstanding!

Meanwhile, back in the real world of 2013, the poor motorist continues to be subjected to highway robbery on a daily basis - and it’s legal. Cash strapped drivers are having to resort to saving money by driving less, which is fine, except for the fact that many need their cars for work or for family commitments and don’t get the choice; so it makes sense to maximise the potential of your car to deliver the best mpg. Obviously driving more slowly helps (but see below), as does driving smoothly by not braking or accelerating too aggressively. Regular car maintenance and correct tyre pressures help, as does not filling the tank - the more petrol on board the heavier the car. Turn off the air-con when you don’t really need it and so on. With fuel prices the way they are it pays to explore all the money saving tips. Unfortunately some drivers choose an alternate method and are not servicing their cars properly or can’t afford to insure them. The inevitable outcome of such stupidity is for insurance costs to go up for the rest of us. There is some good news however.

Some companies are offering free fuel deals on new car purchases and this is great; provided they don’t want you to pay the full list price for the car, obviously. Shopping around online for the best fuel prices in your area is always a good idea - there’ll be an app for that. Often your local supermarket has a petrol voucher promotion on. You know - spend £50 and get 5p a litre off. That’s a good deal. If you regularly buy your petrol from the same station check out any loyalty schemes on offer. Shell have their drivers club, for example. It may also be worth investigating cash-back credit cards - as an example, one card offers 3% on petrol purchases. With fuel prices the way they are every little helps.

Some motorists practise the art of economical driving. This means proceeding very slowly at all times and doing things like coasting snail-like up to traffic lights. Now, this is very laudable of course but also very irritating. It would have an American driver reaching for his or her free Roscoe.

The big step, of course, is to downsize your car. I know it’s a tough decision but, unless your income is adequate for the task, a necessary one. Car makers have, in recent times, developed some terrific small cars that are good to drive, comfortable, sip petrol and don’t cost a fortune to buy or run. Many people are discovering that, on our busy roads, a supermini or city car makes a lot of sense. Offers like that from Max Motors may seem tempting if you think you might enjoy the popular American pastime of blasting holes in road signs but remember, we’re in the UK. Calm down and have a nice cup of tea instead.

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