In the battlefield, tactical vehicles are critical to Marine Corps mission success: Tanks, assault breachers, and weapon systems trucks are vital parts of the Operating Force. On base, non-tactical vehicles (NTVs) are also essential to Marines and their daily jobs. These vehicles range from sedans to work trucks and also include facilities support vehicles.

The Marine Corps has more than 13,000 NTVs in its fleet. In FY 2015, these vehicles were driven more than 105 million miles and consumed a total of about 7 million gallons of fuel, adding up to millions of dollars in fuel costs. Saving fuel on base will not only help to conserve resources and reduce carbon emissions, but also lead to greater effectiveness in the battlefield by lightening the load, enhancing mobility, and increasing the security of Marines.

The Energy Ethos calls for the efficient use of all resources both on base and in the battlefield. However, efficient driving habits aren’t only relevant to Marine Corps-owned vehicles – Marines and their families can take steps to drive their personal vehicles more efficiently as well. Here are a few tips that will help you reduce your fuel waste and keep more money in your pocket today:

  • Avoid idling your vehicle – just 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your vehicle, and every hour of idling uses up to half a gallon of fuel.
  • Avoid driving aggressively – accelerating and braking quickly wastes fuel and adds stress to critical vehicle parts.
  • Avoid high speeds – for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph you’re adding 15 cents/gallon to your fuel cost.
  • Avoid using the A/C or heat with the windows down – this makes your engine work harder and use more fuel.
  • Ensure that your tires are properly inflated – doing so can increase your gas mileage up to 3 percent (check the sticker on the inside of your car door for the recommended pressure).
  • Combine multiple errands into one trip – along with saving fuel, you’ll be saving time.
  • Schedule regular tune-ups for your vehicle – keep your car running its best, and reduce costly repairs down the road.

Not only will these efforts save fuel, but they’ll also limit vehicle wear and tear – making your vehicle safer to drive, and reducing how much you and the Marine Corps have to spend on vehicle maintenance and repairs.

More information on the benefits of efficient driving can be found here. To find out how much you’re spending on fuel and start saving money today, check out this fuel efficiency calculator.

Now that you know how to reduce your fuel bill, start tackling some of your other expenses. The Personal Financial Management Program offers workshops and seminars on more than twenty money management topics. To learn more and find a workshop near you, click here.