26 August 2005

Flying cheaper than driving

You can just pay $95 flying with AirNZ one-way from Hamilton to Wellington.

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With petrol price at $1.5 per litre, you may painfully spend $120 only for petrol to drive 532 kms from Hamilton to Wellington with 0.15 litre petrol per kilometre. And, you'll get tired.

By Overlander Train, you spend $130 one-way for adult and $85 for senior. You must wait a long time to get a cheaper price.

The cheapest one is by InterCity Coachlines, you just pay $60 one-way per person. But, I prefer 1 hour sitting on a plane to 8 hours sitting on a bus.

Tips from AA:

Keep Your Petrol Costs Down

Get more value for money when filling up at the tank. In the current climate of rising petrol prices, here are some tips on how to conserve fuel and reduce vehicle running costs ... make the most of every mile travelled ...

1. Drive smoothly: Aggressive driving is expensive and dangerous. To conserve fuel, avoid rapid acceleration and operate the accelerator as smoothly as possible. A relaxed driving style can save up to 40%.

2. Moderate your speed: to save fuel and arrive alive. Driving at no more than 100km/h compared to 110 km/h saves fuel.

3. Change up: Drive in the highest appropriate gear – the revs should be moderate, not too high or too low. Driving at 60kph in third gear uses up to 25% more fuel than in fifth gear.

4. Plan ahead: Combine multiple household tasks/chores into a single trip. Plan when you could walk, cycle or use public transport instead of taking the car. Invest time in organising shared rides.

5. Lighten the load: Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle, including roof-racks, as to avoid excessive drag. If you have two vehicles, use the smallest vehicle that will do the job.

6. Service checks: Check tyre pressure and uneven tyre wear once a month. Do not over-adjust the brakes - this can cause drag. Low tyre pressures increase fuel consumption by 3%.

7. At the pump: Don’t pay for a higher octane than you need, use the lowest octane petrol suitable for your car. Check your oil levels.

8. Avoid idling for long periods (modern cars do not need to warm up) and switch off when you are parked even if you are waiting for someone.

9. Minimise air-conditioning: wind down the windows for air-flow where required. Park your vehicle in the shade where possible. Air-conditioning increases fuel consumption by up to 11%.