How to Cut Your Fuel Costs
Published 30 May 2019
Most of us are keen to find easy money saving ideas, and driving a car is no exception.There are 2 key techniques to saving fuel; making your car more fuel-efficient and making your driving style more fuel-efficient. By making some simple changes you could save up to £300 a year.
Make Your Car More Fuel-Efficient
Maintain the Correct Tyre Pressure
Incorrect tyre pressure can decrease fuel efficiency and increase fuel costs. Having too little or too much air in your tyres will result in using more fuel. The RAC claims correctly inflated tyres can improve fuel consumption by up to 2%.
You can find the correct pressure in your car’s manual and usually inside the driver’s door. It is worth checking your tyre pressure frequently every week or two, and always before a long journey.
Reduce Extra Weight
The lighter your car is the less fuel it will use. We all end up filling the boot, glove box and storage areas with more and more junk. Only keep in the car what you really need and this will help keep fuel costs down.
If on occasion you need to use a roof rack or top box don’t leave it on when you don’t need it. A roof rack or box with or without a load adds weight and wind resistance to a car, making the engine work harder, using more fuel.
Fuel is heavy and your car will be more efficient the less it has in. Make sure you have enough for your journey though. Try filling only ½ or ¾ full.
Drive More Efficiently
The key to use less fuel is to drive smoothly, avoiding excessive braking and acceleration.
Keep cruise control for motorways; that are long and flat where it can help you save on fuel. Driving on a gradient or twisty road with cruise control will use more fuel.
The biggest user of fuel is excessive speed. Go gentle on the accelerator to be more fuel-efficient.
When pulling away don’t floor the accelerator build up speed gradually, getting into the highest gear as soon as you can but in the lowest revs, around 2000 rpm – the faster an engine spins, the more fuel it uses.
Slowing down and having to accelerate again obviously uses more fuel. Depending on traffic conditions try and keep moving. Be aware of what’s happening on the road ahead so you can adjust your driving in plenty of time without any sudden braking.
You’re aiming for a smooth drive.
Plan Your Journeys
If you can combine a few shorter trips into one you can save on fuel. This is because the engine performs more efficiently once it is warmed up.
Pick the journey furthest away first to warm up the engine, then each journey thereafter will benefit. If you do it the other way around the engine will take longer to warm up and be efficient, using more fuel.
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