How to save fuel
Nobody likes spending more than they need to on fuel. With the cost of living on everybody’s mind, it’s never been more important to be aware of your fuel consumption. As volatile petrol and diesel prices continue, any fuel savings you can make will save your pocket. We’ve outlined some simple changes you can make to your driving habits that will ensure you are using fuel in the most efficient way, and will help to keep your car running smoothly, too.
Did you know that the way you drive can have a significant impact on your fuel consumption? Modifying the speed that you drive is arguably the easiest way to save on your car’s fuel bills – simply put, the faster you drive, the more you’ll spend. But there are other ways you can save on fuel, for example;
Driving steadily – don’t speed, brake hard or accelerate aggressively where possible
Change gears consciously – by changing gears earlier, you ease the pressure on the engine
Don’t carry excess baggage – the heavier the car load, the more fuel you’ll burn
Look after your tyres – if tyre pressure is low, the engine will have to work harder
Keep your car maintained - make sure your tyres are inflated at the right pressure – you can find the specifications in your owner’s manual.
Try car sharing – this is a great way to save on fuel and do your bit for the environment!
Consolidate multiple small journeys into one – the warmer the engine the more efficient it is.
Go easy on the air con – the air con and the heating both impact fuel consumption, so use them sparingly.
Don’t leave unused roof boxes or roof bars on the car – the ‘drag’ effect will burn more fuel.
Regular maintenance and servicing – this will help keep your car in great condition, improve its efficiency and therefore its fuel consumption.
For more tips and tricks for spending less on fuel check out guidance on car running costs
Driving sensibly and considerately, accelerating gently and breaking gradually will help to improve your fuel economy. Aim to drive in the highest gear possible within the speed limit while maintaining a steady speed.
Using cruise control on the motorway can help you maintain a consistent speed and therefore save on petrol or diesel. Cruise control is most effective on long, flat roads (for example, motorways) where you can drive at a constant speed and avoid frequent and unnecessary acceleration or braking.
Hypermiling – or eco-driving – is the practice of driving in the most economical way possible by modifying driving habits. ‘Hypermiler’ was originally an American term coined to refer to motorists focused on maximising the MPG (miles per gallon) of their cars and even exceeding manufacturer fuel economy claims.
A hypermiler will walk rather than drive if it saves them fuel and will try to drive only at times when the roads are less busy. Hypermilers drive with maximum efficiency and seek to maintain momentum on the road, which essentially means driving with great care, braking and accelerating as little as they can.
Yes! Start stop technology detects when your car comes to a stop and automatically switches the engine off; it then restarts the engine when you press the throttle. By reducing the amount of time a car spends idling, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced by up to 10 percent.
In other words, you will save as much fuel as you would have spent idling while your car was stationary. This might not sound like much, but over the course of a year it soon adds up.