With the current high cost of fuel fast becoming a car owner’s biggest concern when it comes to the cost of motoring, many drivers are starting to feel the pinch. Drivers are worried about the amount they have to spend however, there are plenty of changes you can make to your driving habits to help your car run more efficiently and help you save fuel – and therefore save money.
The way that you drive and the condition of your car will play a huge role on the amount of fuel you use on a daily basis, and these unnecessary costs can really add up over time. On average to fill a typical family car with fuel will cost around £60, and if you are doing this once a week then your annual fuel bill will be over £3,120 a year, a significant amount of money.
There is something you can do about this! Below is some of our top tips on fuel saving and more importantly helping you keep your costs down.
Top ten ways to save fuel
1. Engine: Try to keep your car well maintained by making sure the recommended service schedule is followed either by taking it to a reputable garage, or servicing it yourself. A well-tuned engine with fresh, clean oil and new air filters will run more efficiently than an engine that has been neglected.
2. Tyres: Tyres are important to saving fuel; a tyre which is under-inflated by 10% can reduce fuel economy as it increases rolling resistance. As well as helping you to save fuel, correctly inflated tyres are much safer and last longer, as if they are either under- or over-inflated they become more susceptible to failing.
3. Windows: When you have your windows open it increases aerodynamic drag, causing you to put your foot down harder and using more fuel to maintain the same speed. Air-conditioning also uses fuel to operate, so limit the use as much as possible to save fuel.
4. Petrol station: Many drivers spend hours shopping around to find the best deal at the pumps, check the best pump prices at petrolprices.com, where prices are updated daily to help you to find the cheapest fuel. Make sure you weigh up the cheaper fuel prices to any distance you need to travel to the petrol station!
5. Gears: When driving use a higher gear if possible. The higher the gear, the lower the engine speed, which can improve fuel efficiency, so change up a gear whenever you can without labouring the engine. Using cruise control on major roads will help you to stay at a consistent speed which will help to improve fuel consumption as well.
6. Smooth driving: Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel than smooth driving. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard, and also keep your steering as smooth as possible. Keep looking ahead for traffic lights and slower traffic, and coast up to them rather than accelerating and then braking to a stop.
7. Excess weight: It’s amazing how many people carry around huge amounts of unnecessary stuff in the boot or on the back seat of their cars, or have roof racks mounted despite never using them. Lose the deck chairs, picnic table, cool box and so on until you really need them, and you will definitely save fuel.
8. Bulbs: Having the correct bulbs fitted to your vehicle can help save emissions and money, the Philips Eco vision bulbs have been specifically designed to produce 20% less energy than a standard car lamp and also giving you four times the lifetime. They are the world’s most environmentally-friendly bulb and can save you an average of 14 litres of fuel per pair of headlight bulbs. These bulbs will pay for themselves during their ownership.
9. Following lorries: Following (not too closely) a lorry on the motorway can help to improve fuel consumption even up to 200m behind. A lorry will create less air resistance for your vehicle because they have already passed through the air meaning your car will be in the tunnel or ‘slipstream’ behind it.
10. Don’t drive in neutral: For most modern cars leaving your car in neutral when coasting downhill or up to a red light can actually cause you to waste fuel. If you are coasting your engine is idling and actually still putting fuel into your engine, if you leave it in a high gear with low resistance or use lower gears for engine braking will also help to save your brake pads while you save fuel.
If you take some or all of these points into consideration then it will hopefully help you to save fuel and money.
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