October 12, 2016 at 1:35 PM
The natural reaction to rising fuel costs is to drive less, switch to a smaller vehicle, or opt for car-sharing to offset some of your expenses. While these choices may seem like conventional wisdom, going in the opposite direction and swapping your hatchback for a full-sized van can be just as economical and, not to mention, more convenient. Yes, while many would advise you to downsize, there are also some tried and tested benefits of upsizing. While a van will burn more than a mini, let us tell you all the ways in which it burns better.
With a van, you will never have to make a second run to the furniture shop, the supermarket, or drive family members around in batches because there is a shortage of space or seats in your ride. The ample room in your van allows you to optimise your driving route and lets you take care of your chores and make your social calls all in a single, efficient go.
Another way to leverage a van's extra space on long trips is to sign up for a car-sharing service and take additional passengers on long-haul trips. They will chip in for the petrol and also keep you company if you were going to travel alone. Saving money and making new friends - what is not to love?
One strategy to maximise fuel efficiency is to use your vehicle's acceleration to your advantage. Getting to coasting speed on the motorway is relatively easy given most vans' powerful engine. As soon as you get there, you can take your foot off the gas pedal and let inertia do some of the work. The greater weight of a van compared to a regular car will guarantee you considerably longer coasting distances, especially under favourable conditions such as headwind or a downward incline.
Another good fuel-saving method is to keep your vehicle's overall weight down by not filling your petrol tank to the brim. Rather, the advice is to go between half and three-quarters full. A van's half-full tank is still pretty large, compared to a regular car's. It will take you much farther while realising the same net fuel economies relative to average consumption. This means fewer trips to the petrol station and more uninterrupted driving for you.
These are just a few of the benefits to owning a van, especially when you lead an active lifestyle which takes you on the road often, be it for business or for fun family road trips. Remember: Smaller is not always better when it comes to fuel economy!