Here are some tips that can help:
1. If you can, downsize and use a car with a smaller engine, particularly a 1.3-liter engine. It will use up less gas than, say a car with a 2.0 liter engine. Cars with automatic transmission use up more gas too.
2. Consider switching to diesel or LPG gas for cars. This may involve selling your car and getting another one. Weigh the cost.
3. How about carpool? You’re not the only one driving to Makati from Quezon City every day. As you said there are thousands of you. Find two or three people working in your building who would be open to having a carpool service. You may even share driving duties, which should be a welcome relief given the daily traffic jam.
4. Have your car regularly maintained. Go for scheduled tune-ups, check if your tires are inflated properly (check the guide in your car manual or the sticker by the driver’s door for the correct tire pressure), and make sure filters are clean. A well-maintained car will work efficiently and contribute to fuel economy.
5. Plan your trips. If you’re going to one area, do all your errands there. With this strategy, you won’t have to go on short out-of-the-way trips after work every day. For instance, if you have to go to the mall to buy a schoolbag for your child, you might as well do other things there such as grocery shopping, banking, having a haircut, meeting a friend for coffee, etcetera. This will also maximize your parking fee.
6. When driving, avoid idling the engine too long. If you have to wait in the car while your companion goes to a store, turn the engine off.
7. Maintain a steady speed while driving. Driving too fast then braking hard wastes gas.
8. Wait out the traffic. If you can, wait until traffic gets lighter. Find something to do while waiting for the rush hour to end—you can go to the gym, read a book, or meet with friends. Ask your boss if you can work flexible hours. You can come in at 7 a.m. and leave at 4 p.m. or work at 10 a.m. and leave at 7 p.m. An even better option is telecommuting.
9. Lighten up the trunk. More weight in your car trunk will make your car work harder, using up more gas.
10. At the gas pump, don’t top off the tank. The excess gas may spill and will amount to waste. Just stop filling at the automatic level.
11. When parking, choose a shady spot to prevent gas from evaporating under the heat.
12. Fill up your tank in the morning or evening when the air is cooler. At midday, gas may expand due to the heat and you will end up getting a lesser amount of gas.
13. Do you use a credit card to pay for gasoline purchase? Switch to one that gives fuel rebates and shop for the best rebate offer.
14. Bargain for gasoline allowance as an additional employee benefit. It doesn’t hurt to try asking your boss for this benefit as long as you have been turning in good work consistently.
15. Consider living closer to your place of work. You may either relocate to Makati or find a job closer to home. Not only will you save gas; you will also be less tired with a shorter commute every day.
(INQUIRER.net and Citibank invite readers to ask questions regarding financial matters. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment through our personal finance blog called MoneySmarts )
*Disclaimer: Readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions and should thus conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice. INQUIRER.net will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained from our web site. INQUIRER.net receives no compensation of any kind from companies or industries or funds that are mentioned here.