Driving habits that are affecting your fuel efficiency without you knowing!

Fuel efficiency is more of a priority than ever before as the cost of daily living and in particular the cost of petrol and diesel continues to rise. There are plenty of ways you can improve the fuel efficiency of your car, either with the way you drive, or how you maintain your car’s condition.

When it comes to taking steps towards improving your fuel efficiency, a little goes a long way so take the time to read our guide and by applying some of these strategies, you'll start to see the rewards and a little less impact on your wallet!

Plan ahead – It pays to plan your journey in advance, so you can take the most efficient route. Satellite navigation systems and route apps will help you to do this. Many modern cars have smartphoen connectivity to allow you to use Apple CarPlay & Android Auto whilst you're on the go.

Driver-assist systems - Many vehicles feature an information display system which shows average fuel consumption. It can help you to keep track of your driving performance and see the effects of any adjustments you make. This system also provides a range measurement to show how much further you can travel with the fuel you have, based on your current driving performance, to help you plan your trips and next refueling stop.

Avoid unnecessary running – Try to avoid unnecessary idling by turning your engine off when sitting still for an extended period of time. Many cars feature stop/start technology which does this automatically. 

Remove excess weight – Removing accessories such as roof racks and bike carriers when not in use will help to reduce weight and wind resistance. Removing items from the inside can also help e.g if the kids are staying home, so can their buggy. It's the little things that make a big difference resulting in better fuel economy.

Use air conditioning sparingly – Having the air conditioning on has a direct effect on fuel consumption. Choose your times, such as higher-speed driving on the open roads and try not to have it on by default all the time.

It’s also important to have your vehicle’s air conditioning system serviced regularly. This should be done atleast every two years to ensure that the system is running efficiently and any lost refrigerant is replaced. When the refrigerant levels drop, the system has to work harder to produce the amount of cool air that you need. This will use more fuel, so it’s a good idea to keep up to date with your air con service to conserve even more petrol.

Drive smoothly and anticipate what's ahead – Keep your engine operating at a smooth level by avoiding heavy acceleration or deceleration e.g try to look well ahead. This way you’ll see the traffic lights on red meaning you can ease back on the accelerator or slow down naturally and potentially keep moving as opposed to coming to a complete stop.

Drive safely – Ensuring you observe speed limits and drive in a courteous, non-aggressive manner will pay you back with better fuel efficiency (and avoid any incidents of road rage!)

Simple Maintenance Tips to Optimise Your Fuel Efficiency Even Further

Maintaining your car will not only help to ensure it's in the safest possible condition, it will also have a positive impact on your car’s fuel efficiency.

Maintain tyre pressure - Check your tyre pressures regularly, as the incorrect amount could affect the performance of your vehicle as well as increase your fuel consumption. You will find your vehicle's tyre pressures in your owner's manual. Wheel alignments are also important and should be carried out with your regular services.

Regularly servicing – Regular servicing is a very important way to keep your car running at its most fuel-efficient level. Engine oil and air filters have a limited period where they operate effectively. Replacements at the right times will help improve fuel efficiency.

Use the right fuel – Always ensure you use the fuel type which is recommended for your vehicle. Car engines are designed to operate most efficiently with the recommended fuel type and using a lower fuel type will have an adverse affect on your performance, fuel consumption and may also cause damage to your engine

Have you considered the alternatives?

Modern cars are designed to be more naturally fuel efficent as manufacturers strive to reduce emissions & the impact on the environment. Whilst a lot of people aren't quite ready to take the step into an electric car, there are obvious benefits when it comes to running costs but advancements in hybrid technology mean there are other options to consider to help you reduce your running costs without having to worry about where you will next plug in.

You can check out our guide to hybrids which explains everything you need to know about the different kinds of hybrid cars and engines available across our Suzuki, Nissan and Subaru ranges. Or if you've got questions you need answers to, simply contact us and a member of our team will be more than happy to help and arrange a test drive of our latest hybrid and electric cars.