Top 10 tips to reduce your fuel consumption
Our top 10 driver tips to increase your MPG and reduce your fuel bills
With the increase in fuel prices over recent years we know that one of the top things to check when looking to purchase a car is the miles per gallon (MPG) it will return. Car manufacturers are constantly striving to improve engine technology to increase MPG figures but even if you’re not in the market to buy a car, there are many ways you can increase the efficiency of the vehicle you currently drive.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our top 10 tips to keep your fuel costs to a minimum.
1. FIND CHEAPER FUEL Use a comparison site such as www.petrolprices.com to find the cheapest unleaded, diesel and LPG fuels nearest to your postcode.
2. DON’T OVERREV YOUR ENGINE When driving, accelerate gradually without over-revving. When speeding up, do so smoothly, as pressing harder on the accelerator will result in increased fuel flow.
3. JOURNEY PLANNING The majority of people now use satellite navigation to plan their route thus avoiding congestion, roadworks and taking wrong turns. If you don’t have access to a sat nav system, look on the internet before you set off for route planning and traffic information. You can use the RAC route planner, to give you multiple suggested routes for your journey.
It would also be good idea to look at the routes you frequently take and assess whether there are less congested roads you could use as an alternative. They may add miles to your journey, but if they cut out stop-start motoring it could save you money in the long run.
4. TURN OFF YOUR AIR CONDITIONING / CLIMATE CONTROL Fuel consumption can be increased by the use of air-conditioning, so make sure it's turned off unless you really need it. This also applies to climate control, although this doesn’t use as much fuel as manual air conditioning systems.
5. 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 off the engine as soon as you reach your destination. Switch off the engine if you're going to be at a standstill for a reasonable amount of time, for example, when stuck in stationary traffic.
6. KEEP YOUR VEHICLE IN GOOD SHAPE Service your vehicle regularly in conjunction with the vehicle handbook. A regularly serviced car will be more efficient on fuel. Only use the recommended fuel and oil for your vehicle for best fuel efficiency as specified in your vehicle handbook.
7. REMOVE ACCESSORIES WHEN NOT IN USE Remove items such as roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes when not required as these can significantly affect your car's aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency. The lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to accelerate. A roof rack, even unused, adds wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and making the engine work harder. Keep windows and sunroofs shut when driving on motorways, and don't carry unnecessary items in your vehicle, including the boot.
8. STICK TO THE SPEED LIMITS The most efficient speed depends upon the vehicle in question but is typically around 55 - 65mph. Fast speeds will greatly increase your fuel consumption. When you're driving on motorways, stick to the speed limit.
9. CHECK YOUR TYRE PRESSURES REGULARLY Under-inflated tyres are not only dangerous and increase wear, but can also increase fuel consumption, so regularly check your tyres are inflated to the correct pressures listed in your vehicle handbook. On most modern cars, the tyre pressures are stated on the inside of the fuel flap or inside the driver door.
10. AVOID UNNECESSARY JOURNEYS For short journeys, leaving the car behind and walking or cycling will benefit your wallet, as well your health and the environment. A cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel, and catalytic converters can take five miles to become effective, so consider whether you need to drive in the first place.
Car-sharing is something else to consider, as it not only saves money, but eases road congestion. Consider whether a video or teleconference could substitute that business meeting miles from the office.
Why not give it a try and let us know how you get on?
1. Find cheaper fuel
2. Don’t over rev your engine
3. Plan your journey in advance
4. Turn off the air conditioner
5. Anticipate road conditions to drive more efficiently
6. Keep your vehicle in good shape
7. Remove accessories
8. Stick to the speed limits
9. Check your tyre pressures regularly
10. Avoid unnecessary journeys
The best place to find information on your vehicle is in your vehicle handbook, or directly from your vehicle manufacturer or local dealership.