10 driver tips to reduce fuel bills
1. Find cheaper fuel
Visit www.petrolprices.com to find the cheapest fuel in your area. The website lists the most up to date prices for nearly 10,000 forecourts. Enter your postcode and find the cheapest fuels for unleaded, diesel, LPG and other fuels local to you.
- Keep your vehicle in good shape
Service you vehicle in line with manufactures recommendations. A regularly serviced car will be more efficient on fuel. Only use the recommend fuel and oil for your vehicle for best fuel efficiently. Service and oil recommendations can be found in your handbook.
- Don’t over rev your engine.
Accelerate gradually without over-revving. Speed up smoothly, when you press harder on the accelerator more fuel flows, but you can reach the same speed using much less power. A good rule is to try to change up a gear before 2,500 rpm (petrol) and 2,000repm (diesel).
- Anticipate road conditions to drive more efficiently
Drive smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking. This saves fuel and reduces accident rates. Drive off as soon as you start up and switch the engine off if you are going to be at standstill for a reasonable amount of time.
- Stick to the speed limits
The most efficient speed depends upon the vehicle in question, but is normally around 55-65mph. Faster speeds will increase your fuel consumption. When you’re driving on motorways stick to the speed limit.
- Remove accessories.
Accessories such as bike carriers, roof racks and boxes affect your car’s aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency, so remember to remove them when not in use. The lighter your car is the less effort is needed to accelerate. A roof rack, even unused, adds wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and makes the engine work harder.
- Avoid unnecessary journeys.
For short journeys, leaving the car behind will benefit your wallet, as well as your health and the environment! A cold engine uses almost twice the amount of fuel and catalytic convertors can take five miles to become effective. Car sharing is something else to consider, as it not only saves money but eases road congestion.
- Journey planning
Use satellite navigation to plan you route, avoiding congestion, road works and taking wrong turns. If you don’t have access to a satellite navigation system, look on the internet before you set off for route planning and traffic information. Look at the routes you frequently take and access whether there are less congested roads you could use. They may add a few miles to your journey, but if they cut out stop-start motoring it could save you money.
- Check your tyre pressures regularly
Under inflated tyres are not only dangerous and increase wear, but can also increase fuel consumption. Regularly check tyres are inflated to the correct pressures listed in your vehicle handbook. On many modern cars, the tyre pressures are also stated on the inside of the fuel flap, or inside the driver’s door.
- Turn of the air conditioner
Air conditioning can also increase fuel consumption, so turn it off unless you need it. The same applies to climate control, although this does not use as much fuel as manual air conditioning systems.