Check our our blog below on how to save money on fuel.
The price of fuel is at the forefront of every driver’s mind at the moment. It’s fluctuating, but we have all fallen foul of leaving the visit to the petrol station until the following day only to find prices have soared overnight.
The good news is that while the cost is out of our control, there are plenty of other measures well within our grasp that can help us save money.
Here are our top ten tips for driving more economically:
1. Be lighter on your feet
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘heavy-footed’ when it comes to driving – someone who can drive too fast and is too quick to accelerate. But that is one of the easiest ways to use too much fuel and adopting a lighter touch can make a big difference. Accelerate smoothly and slowly – not so much that you annoy other road users – but take your time. The same applies to braking. Try to anticipate when you may need to slow down and brake early. Also, make sure you’re in the right gear for the speed you’re travelling at to ensure maximum fuel economy. When approaching hills, it may help to accelerate a little before you reach it, then ease off as you drive up. That bit of extra speed may give you the momentum to drive up and avoid an unnecessary increase in fuel consumption trying to get to the top.
Making sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure is vital to fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres can reduce mpg significantly. Many tyres also have a fuel efficiency rating – an A rating is the best. Also make sure your wheels are aligned correctly.
3. Cruise control
Speeding will always use more fuel and cost you more money, especially if you end up with a fine. Stick to the speed limits and use cruise control on long distances. This will help you maintain a steady speed and avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking.
Make sure your car isn’t carrying unnecessary weight. Empty the boot or remove the roof box or bike rack if they’re not being used. The heavier the car is, the more fuel it will use. Racks will also add drag, which stops the car being as aerodynamic as it was designed to be. This will increase fuel consumption.
5. Stay up-to-date with servicing
Making sure your car is in the best mechanical shape will optimise the fuel economy. If an engine works better, it will use less fuel.
6. Stop idling
Many cars have auto stop/start to avoid wasting fuel while idling. If you haven’t got it, just turn the engine off.
Anything that uses the car’s battery, like air con or heating, is indirectly using fuel because it’s powered by the engine. However, if you switch off the air con and open the windows, this can cause drag which again increases fuel consumption, so take care.
8. Plan ahead
Use a sat nav and plan your route to avoid unnecessary detours or mistakes that mean you end up taking the long way round.
9. Join the hypermile club.
Hypermiling is popular with some drivers who love the challenge of driving as far as they can on as little fuel as possible, by modifying their driving habits. Hypermilers start by thinking about whether a journey is even necessary, planning a route that is as direct as possible and avoids too much acceleration and braking and drive at quiet times. They will go to extremes like parking in the direction of the sun if it’s cold, so a frosted windscreen melts rather than using the heated screen; or if it’s warm they park in the shade to avoid having to use air con. Adopting a few of their techniques may help with fuel economy.
Using a car is an essential part of our day-to-day life, but paying over the odds for fuel needn’t be. A few adjustments to our car care and driving techniques can make a big difference.
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