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Lose Pounds To Save Pounds

Lose Pounds To Save Pounds

Nobody does mother-in-law jokes anymore. That sort of thing definitely belongs to the era of Bernard Manning and is far too un-pc for modern sensibilities. Seriously though, have you got a mother-in-law? If so, do you occasionally give her lifts in your car? Well, the time has come to jettison her from your motor. Remembering to stop first, clearly.

You’ll have read often enough about the costs of motoring. Insurance, road tax, increased VAT and ridiculous fuel prices have all conspired to relieve you of money faster than ever before. Motorists are waking up to the fact that small cars mean economy and light-weight cars deliver even better figures. Obviously we’ve always known this and yet, for a while in recent years, cars became bigger and more lardy. Now it’s time to think weight-watchers and dump that surplus avoirdupois.

Saving weight really does improve economy. All the old ideas still apply. If you don’t go far, don’t fill the tank with extra weight. Do not carry unnecessary tools or dead bodies in the boot and so on; but what’s the new thinking, I hear you ask.

Well, the best way to save money is to stop driving altogether. If we all did it motoring costs would tumble quickly. The downside of this idea is that none of us would be driving and therefore would not reap any benefit from lower prices. Yet it does pose the question that, if revenue dropped sufficiently as our government believes will happen in the next few years, will the costs of motoring drop? It would be nice to think so but there seems to be little evidence of this.

An example would be the pricing policy of some petrol stations. Their opinion seems to be that if income drops then prices need to go up to compensate. This is of course muddle-headed thinking as any supermarket could tell them. We are governed not only by taxes but also greed.

A smaller lighter car with small tyres is the way forward. What it lacks in power it will make up for with fun. Driving and cornering in a car the size of a hockey puck is a blast, even if it lacks the comforts of a big cruiser. If you only drive locally then you could try shedding even more weight by losing the heavy spare wheel and carrying a repair kit instead, that way you can do without the jack and sundry other bits as well. If that’s a step to far, consider a space-saver wheel instead.

When building cars the late, great Colin Chapman recommended “adding lightness”. Give your car the once over and see where weight savings can be made. Think about it – do you really need those back seats? Oh, and stop giving lifts to pesky relatives!

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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