Did you know that you can save up to 20% on your fuel bills by changing a few simple habits?
That’s nearly £300 a year for the average UK driver.
1. Drive in the highest possible gear. Changing up gear at an engine speed of 2,000 rpm in a diesel and 2,500 rpm in a petrol will make such a difference to your consumption.
2. Keep within the speed limit, 80mph uses up 25% more fuel than 70mph.
3. Chill out. “Racing starts” at the traffic lights will use up more fuel than accelerating gradually.
4. Where possible avoid harsh braking and then speeding up again. Smooth driving, gentle acceleration and reading the road ahead will help to reduce unnecessary braking.
5. Coasting is quite a common practice to save on fuel, however rolling downhill or approaching a junction with the car out of gear is inadvisable.
a. The driver doesn’t have full control over the vehicle and this can cause a loss in the ability to suddenly accelerate out of tricky situations.
b. You also lose engine braking, which risks brake fade on downhill stretches, overheated brakes require harder pedal pressures to stop the vehicle.
c. Many modern cars now have the ability to save you on fuel when you take your foot off the accelerator, making coasting unnecessary and dangerous.
6. Take out any unnecessary loads, extra weight means extra fuel; do you really need a spare tyre for a town car? A compressor with sealant is much lighter.
7. Roof-racks and boxes will add wind resistance and will therefore increase fuel consumption; do you really need it to go to the shops?
8. Don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go, idling wastes fuel and the engine will warm up quicker when you’re moving.
9. Air conditioning will increase your fuel consumption, so if it’s a hot day around town then open the window. We do recommend though that you aim to run it at least once a week throughout the year to keep the system in a good condition.
10. Only use heated windows and demister blowers when needed.
11. Check your tyre pressures every two weeks. Under-inflated tyres cause more rolling resistance and so use more fuel.
12. Plan unfamiliar journeys and check the traffic news to avoid getting lost/delays.
13. Combining errands, such as buying the paper, dropping off the recycling or collecting the kids, will use less fuel as you won’t be starting the car from cold each time.
14. Get your car serviced regularly to maintain engine efficiency.
15. Make sure you use the right specification of engine oil (Your handbook can help with this).
You can calculate your average fuel consumption over any period using these steps:
1. Fill the tank and record the mileage.
2. Keep a record of any additional fuel purchases (you don’t have to completely fill the tank again until you’re ready to work out your mpg).
3. Ideally you should go back to the same pump at the same garage where you first filled the car up and fill the tank again to the same level.
4. Finally divide the total mileage since the first fill by the total number of litres used, and then multiply by 4.546 to get miles per gallon. (e.g. if you’ve covered 1000 miles and used 101 litres of fuel, your average mpg = (1000/101)x4.546 = 45mpg)