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Romanov Report 60 – Apr 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

5 Simple Ways to Combat Soaring Gas Prices

Does it seem like a distant memory when $30 bought you a full tank of gas? Economists predict gas prices will jump to a staggering $1.40 per litre by this summer. But by making just a few changes today, you can instantly improve the fuel economy of your vehicle and save money without investing in a hybrid car or waiting for big oil companies to give car owners a break.

1.

Lose a Few Pounds

Most of us could benefit from losing a few pounds…and your car is no exception. The more weight you carry in your car, the heavier it becomes and the more fuel it uses. Save your hard-earned cash by removing unnecessary items such as roof racks, luggage and toolboxes when not in use.

2.

Turn Off Your Engine

Excessive idling wastes fuel, damages your engine and is harmful to the environment. Did you know that 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning off your engine and then restarting it?

3.

Slow Down

With most vehicles, increasing your cruising speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h will increase fuel consumption by about 20%. Similarly, reducing your speed from 100 km/h to 90 km/h improves fuel economy by about 10%.

4.

Be Smooth

Aggressive driving (e.g., accelerating quickly and jamming on the breaks at traffic lights) is a surefire way to increase fuel consumption and emissions. By maintaining steady speeds and accelerating and braking smoothly, you’ll save gas, money, and the environment.

Source: Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE), Natural Resources Canada

5.

Lower Your Insurance Costs

Interestingly, perhaps the quickest way to lower your gas costs has nothing to do with your driving at all! What would you say if someone told you that, by investing just a few minutes of your time, you could save enough on your car insurance to pay for 25% to 50% of your gas for the year?

Let’s say you drive about 20,000 kilometres per year and use approximately 2,400 litres of gas. At $1.00 per litre that’s $2,400. If you were to go online and get a free quote from InsuranceHotline.com, comparing your rate with the rates from over 30 top insurance companies, and save $600 off what you’re paying now, you would instantly pay for 25% of your gas for the whole year!

That’s like reducing the price you pay for gas to about 75 cents per litre!

To see how much you can lower your gas costs by saving on your car insurance, click here.


The "Flintstones" Car


It might help lower gas costs, but should a pedal-operated "Flintstones" car be allowed on the road?

Artist Michel de Broin built a pedal-powered vehicle to make a point about gas consumption and last October, it was pulled over by a police officer and the driver was charged with operating an unsafe vehicle. On April 3rd, in a Toronto courtroom, the charges were thrown out.

Click here to see the full article on thestar.com and check out the video account of the story.

The type of car you drive is just one of the variables impacting the rate you pay for your car insurance and there can be large rate differences between insurance companies for the exact same vehicle. Knowing this can save you 100′s, even 1000′s off the cost of your insurance.

Take a look at this rate comparison of over 30 insurance companies for a Hummer and Honda Civic quoting a driver with a clean record and a driver with one ticket and one accident. Each car has a great insurance rate, but the lowest rates are from different insurance companies.

Vehicle Clean Record One Ticket & Accident
Lowest Highest Lowest Highest
Hummer $1,651  $3,138  $2,812  $8,769 
Honda Civic $1,602  $3,125  $3,182  $11,271 

To make sure you are paying the lowest rate available for you and your car, click here.


Spring is Here – But Do You Really Need to Change Your Winter Tires?

The answer is YES.

Winter tires are designed to deliver safe control of your vehicle in snow, ice and cold weather conditions due to special tread compounds which stay soft and flexible in cold weather. But when used for extended periods of time in summer months, your safety can be jeopardized as the durability of your tires decreases.

CAA Quebec conducted warm weather performance tests on all season and winter tires and found an increased emergency braking distance of 30% when using winter tires in summer months.

"Many people mistakenly believe that they will save money by keeping their winter tires on their vehicle all year long," says Sophie Gagnon, Director, Public and Government Relations, CAA-Quebec. "Not only are they putting their safety and that of the other road users at risk, but they are also unaware that this type of tire, which is designed to be used in cold weather, will wear out more quickly when used on a warm surface."

Neglecting to change your tires increases your likelihood of getting into an accident…and an accident can cause your insurance rate to skyrocket. If this has happened to you, you need to go online now and do a quote comparison to make sure you are paying the lowest insurance rate available.