With petrol prices now topping £1.40 a litre in the UK, and with no end in sight to the increases in fuel duty, plus a rumoured strike by the lorries who bring the fuel into the country which forces us all into panic buying, people are looking at ways to cut down their gas expenditures. But is it a fallacy that you can actually save money by simply driving in a different way to that which you are used to? Well, you might not see the results immediately but the overwhelming answer is yes. Any little factor that you can bring into play always makes a big difference when played out over time. So with this in mind, we have listed the top ten ways that you can reduce your fuel spending, by adjusting the way you drive your car. Why not try it and see if it makes a difference to the amount you are spending each month? It never hurts to try!
1. Buy a Fuel Efficient Vehicle
The very first thing you can do to ensure you are not spending loads of money on petrol is to buy one of the newer models of cars that are fuel efficient. When you look at a new car you should examine the vehicle’s rated fuel efficiency. It is best to go for a small vehicle with a manual transmission or one of the new hybrid models, or a car with a small sized engine.
2. Make Sure Tyres Are Properly Inflated
Did you know that if one single tyre is under-inflated by 2 PSI then this will increase your fuel consumpstion by 1%? Therefore it makes sense to check that your tyres are properly inflated every week or so. You can check to see what your tyres should be by looking at the manufacturers booklet.
3. Do Not Accelerate or Brake Hard
Imagine that every time you press hard on the gas pedal you are pressing away money. This is sometimes the only way people can realise that by accelerating or breaking hard they are actually using more petrol. If you go with the flow of the traffic around you and try to anticipate what will happen next, your driving will be much more economical as you will be slowly applying the brake and accelerator. If you drive like a boy racer your fuel economy may decrease by as much as 20%.
4. Slow Down!
Avoid high speeds because as your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. If you drive at 62 mph (100 km/h) rather than 75 mph (120 km/h) you will effectively reduce your fuel consumption by about 15%.
5. Don’t Let Your Car Idle In Traffic
If you have stopped for more than 1 minute in traffic, say at a set of traffic lights or at a junction, then turn the engine off. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this amount of time.
6. Close The Windows
If you are driving at speed, especially on a motorway or a highway, then make sure that all windows are closed as open windows increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%.
7. Use A/C Sparingly
If you have the air conditioner on it puts an extra load on the engine which forces more fuel to be used (by about 20%). And did you know that the defrost position on most vehicles also uses the air conditioner?
8. Service Vehicle Regularly
It makes sense to service your car on a regular basis as proper maintenance will help to avoid poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels. So even if you are driving an older vehicle, if it is serviced with newer parts, it will be better at conserving fuel.
9. Use Your Cruise Control
If you are driving over a long distance then opting for the cruise control function often saves gas.
10. Take Out Heavy Items
If your boot is packed with rubbish intended for the dump and never gets to go there, make sure it at least gets taken out of the car so you are not transporting it everywhere you drive. The extra load will make a difference to the amount of fuel you require to pull your car along. So make sure you travel light and remove an un-necessary items before you travel.