All about fuel consumption

Everything you need to know about fuel consumption

How is fuel consumption measured?

Fuel consumption in the UK is measured in Miles per Gallon (MPG).

A vehicle’s fuel consumption is measured for several reasons, such as determining its environmental impact and gauging how far it can travel for every gallon of fuel used. The higher the MPG of a vehicle, the more economical it is, meaning you’ll spend less on fuel.

To ensure that the calculations for MPG are standardised, the figures are based on the WLTP test (World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure). This is a laboratory-based test that was created to replicate realistic driving scenarios to measure MPG.

Manufacturers are required to publish the MPG of each of their vehicles, it is a common complaint that car owners are unable to match the official MPG figures when out driving, hence why the WLTP was introduced.

How to find out your fuel consumption

The majority of modern vehicles have trip computers that automatically calculate your fuel consumption. You will be able to view this on your dashboard or information centre. Often you will be able to see your MPG in that current moment, as well as your average MPG.

How to calculate your fuel consumption

If your car doesn’t have a trip computer that calculates MPG, or you just want a completely accurate record of your fuel consumption, you can use this simple formula: Miles Driven / Gallons Used to Refill the Tank.

1. Fill your fuel tank.

2. Reset your trip computer/take note of your current mileage.

3. Drive your vehicle until fuel is required.

4. Fill your fuel tank again.

5. Take note of the number of gallons needed to refill your tank.

6. Reset your trip computer.

7. Repeat this several times to gain a more accurate average.

What affects fuel consumption?

The fuel efficiency of a vehicle can be affected by several factors such as

  • Poor engine oil.
  • Incorrect tyre pressure.
  • Broken/damaged engine.
  • Excess weight such as roof boxes.
  • Frequent stop-starts.
  • Revving the engine too high.
  • Speeding.
  • Use of features such as air conditioning, heated seats and windscreens.
  • How can you lower your fuel consumption?

    Fuel consumption is affected by the vehicle you drive and how you drive it. So if you’re not planning to change your vehicle anytime soon, check out our fuel-saving tips where we take you through some small habits you can change to improve your fuel consumption.