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Eight tips that experts say will help you lower cost of driving in Singapore

With COE prices hitting new highs, every dollar saved matters for motorists. From vehicle maintenance to paying for ERP, here are some surefire ways to not just save - but earn while on the road!
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
27 Nov 2023

1. Keep your vehicle well-maintained. Regular vehicle maintenance is key to maximising fuel efficiency and that’s music to the ears with rising petrol prices!

James Wong, Automotive Editor of OneShift by Carousell, shared: “If a car has a less-than-optimal servicing schedule, parts and/or fluids may experience severe wear, leading to increased friction and resistance.”

2. Ensure your tyre pressures are correct. Having your vehicle’s tyres inflated to the correct pressures has a significant impact on its fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres can have a detrimental effect on your kilometres per litre as much as 2.5 percent. In addition, go for tyres with higher fuel efficiency ratings. An A-rated tyre can enhance fuel economy by as much as 7.5 percent compared with a G-rated tyre.

Teng Dao Xiong, Managing Director of 1 Car Service Workshop, shared: “In Singapore, where traffic conditions can vary from highway speeds to stop-and-go congestion, maintaining proper tyre pressure is essential for optimal fuel efficiency. Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance, which in turn increases fuel consumption. Regular checks on tyre pressure are crucial and it ensures not only safety but also optimum fuel consumption.”

3. Drive in a fuel-efficient way. Yes, the way you drive affects the amount of fuel consumed. The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. So try to accelerate and decelerate briskly but smoothly and don’t wait until the last second to come to a standstill.

“Navigating Singapore’s roads requires patience and skill. Smooth acceleration and braking not only ensure safety and save fuel, but will also reduce wear and tear on vehicle components. Continual hard braking and rapid acceleration put undue stress on parts like the gearbox, brake pads and brake discs. Over time, this can lead to premature wear, necessitating earlier replacements and incurring higher maintenance costs. By driving smoothly, not only will you extend the lifespan of these critical components, you will also ensure that your vehicle remains in optimal condition, minimising unexpected repair costs,” said Dao Xiong.

4.Reduce excess weight and drag. Did you know that every five percent increase in weight leads to a two percent increase in fuel consumption? This is based on tests conducted by car makers, environment agencies and traffic management authorities.

“A light car is almost always a more efficient car – less effort is required to overcome inertia. An engine burns much more fuel when it is moving off from standstill, rather than when cruising,” said James.

So don’t leave unnecessary items in your vehicle’s trunk or use it as a dumping ground for unwanted items. Keep only the bare necessities such as emergency kits and jumper cables.

5. Optimise your air-conditioning. Apart from regular maintenance, try to avoid setting the temperature too low and parking under direct sunlight to keep the AC from working too hard. Open all doors and windows before setting off so that the accumulated hot air can escape first.

“Air-conditioning is one of the major uses of energy in a car. It is necessary in Singapore, but don’t turn your car into an igloo if you can help it! At the same time, keep your windows closed after the hot air has dissipated to maximise aerodynamic efficiency and reduce drag,” advised James.

6. Top up your motoring card using apps. Time is money. Skip the queue and the need to walk to a machine to top up your motoring card. You can choose to use the EZ-Link Motoring card as it allows you to top up on the go with the EZ-Link app or sign up for the Auto Top-up programme - both come with no convenience fee. Doing so will save both your time and wallet. In addition, you can ensure there is always sufficient value in your card to avoid being fined when going through ERP.

Enjoy greater convenience as a motorist with the EZ-Link Motoring card

View details of your payments and transaction history on the

EZ-Link Motoring card via the EZ-Link app

7. Earn reward points as you drive. Go beyond saving money to earning it - in the form of rewards. For example, the EZ-Link Motoring card allows you to earn one point with every $0.10 spent and redeem for attractive rewards.

The EZ-Link Motoring card also rewards users through special promotions. For example, a promotional campaign from 27 November to 31 December 2023 gives you a chance to win $20 petrol vouchers weekly. Simply pair the EZ-Link Motoring card with the EZ-Link app, top up a minimum of $20 to the card with Mastercard® and make five ERP or carpark transactions to qualify. Topping up with Mastercard® on the EZ-Link app can be done anytime, anywhere with ad-hoc top-up, express top-up or auto top-up.

Earn Rewards with the EZ-Link Motoring card on the EZ-Link app

Win $20 petrol vouchers with the EZ-Link Motoring card promotion

What’s more, you can continue to use the EZ-Link Motoring Card in the next-gen ERP on-board units (OBU). This means you do not have to buy another card when the new OBU is installed in your car.

8. Plan your route. One of the easiest ways to save fuel while reducing emissions is to plan your routes ahead of time and optimise them for distance, traffic and road conditions. Use route planning software or GPS devices to avoid unnecessary detours, reduce fuel consumption and minimise travel time. Better still, use Google Maps’ eco-friendly routing to reach the destination using shortened paths with lower fuel consumption.

Images from EZ-Link and Freepik


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