Help and advice

Costs of Driving

Drive more efficiently and save money!

Save up to £84 a year

Motorists could make huge savings if they simply switched their car engines off when not moving and always used the correct gear.

Research by Barclaycard Fuel+ found that by making just a few simple changes to the way they drive, motorists could save anything up to £84 each year. In the UK, more than 636 million litres of petrol go to waste each year. This is a result of more than a third of drivers not using efficient driving techniques, such as using the handbrake when waiting at traffic lights.

Younger motorists drive more efficiently

Young woman driver

It may be a surprise, but the survey found that it’s younger drivers who are actually the most efficient drivers, with 17-24-year-olds the most eco-efficient behind the wheel. Meanwhile, over 50% of drivers aged 65 and over said they didn’t use any techniques which save fuel. And drivers in London are particularly eco-friendly and more likely to walk a short journey rather than drive.

Cut your petrol consumption and save yourself money


Service your car regularly

Always use the correct engine oil for your car

Regularly check the tyre pressures, especially before long journeys

Before you drive

Take out any unnecessary heavy items from your car as the extra weight will use up more fuel.

Take off the roof rack and boxes when you aren’t using them Cut drag.

Only start the engine when you are ready to go as letting it sit idle will just waste fuel.

Scrap ice off your car instead of letting it sit idle to warm up.

Always know where you are going because if you get lost then you will just waste fuel.

Lots of short trips will use more fuel, so try to combine them into a longer journey if possible.

If you are only going to be travelling a short distance, then consider cycling or walking instead.

Driving more efficiently

Always try to drive smoothly with gentle acceleration. Read the road ahead so you can avoid unnecessary breaking.

When you are approaching a queue or traffic lights, start to slow down early and you might able to avoid stopping completely.

drive more efficiently, dog head out of window

When driving in town, open your window, don’t use air con.

Change up your gears earlier.

When you are just driving around town, then open the windows rather than using the air-con. Save for high speed driving and don’t leave it on all the time.

When you don’t need them, turn off the rear window heater, headlights and demister fan.

Drive to the speed limit, as going faster uses up more fuel.

Choosing your next car

The car itself can have a huge impact on your fuel costs and how efficient your driving is. The smaller the engine, the more efficient the car will be. Choosing an ultra-low emissions car is one way to guarantee you are driving as efficiently as possible. Electric cars produce zero exhaust emissions and electric hybrids emit only 75g or less of CO2 per kilometre.  

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