Fuel is expensive! It’s one thing to buy your dream car, but running it is a whole other story.
I’m sure we’ve all fallen victim to that dreaded feeling of seeing that you only have one bar of petrol left when payday is another week away. But fear not because there are things you can do that may make a difference when it comes to saving fuel!
Do you ever wonder what you could be doing to make your fuel stretch just that little bit further? Well here are some nifty tips and tricks to get you started.
1. Drive smoothly
Driving erratically or aggressively could result in consuming 60% more fuel. So how can you avoid this to save more fuel? There are many different ways in which you can do this, such as:
- Pulling away from lights smoothly (instead of slamming your foot on the accelerator)
- Braking gently (unless you need to brake harshly to prevent an accident)
- Slowing down in good time to avoid unnecessary braking
- Choose a car with Start/Stop technology, to save fuel when your car is idle at a set of lights or in a queue of traffic.
2. Drive less / change your method of transport
One of the most effective ways of saving fuel is to drive less!
If you have a work colleague that lives close by, you could carpool. Some businesses even encourage this. Along with saving fuel, this can also result in other benefits, like more car parking spaces! We’ve all been there on a rainy Monday morning when you're running late and you finally get to your colleague car park but all of the spaces are already taken. With car sharing, there will be fewer cars in the car park, meaning no more long walks from the car to the office in the pouring rain. Oh, and don’t forget the carpool karaoke!
Walking or cycling could be another option. This may be easier said than done when it comes to the daily commute to work and back, but for shorter journeys, resisting the urge to jump in the car would definitely go some way to saving fuel - and let's face it.... we could all use just that little bit of extra exercise! This tip has the added bonus of being good for the environment too!
If walking, cycling or carpooling aren't options for you... why not switch to a Hybrid or an Electric Vehicle (EV for short)? You can learn more about Hybrids and EVs on our dedicated page!
3. Watch your speed
Sticking to the speed limit not only reduces the chance of being involved in an accident, but it also helps reduce fuel consumption. Not to mention the fact that driving over the speed limit is against the law - if caught you could pick up points on your licence, a fine and/or a driving ban!
It has been proven that the faster you go the more fuel you use. This is because the aerodynamic drag created by a vehicle moving through the air increases exponentially. It takes more power to overcome the added resistance, which forces the engine to work harder, burning more fuel.
4. Don’t carry unnecessary weight
Lighten your load! The heavier your car, the more fuel it needs to be able to move around. Think about it from a different perspective; going on holiday for example. The heavier your suitcase the more you have to pay for it, well, you can apply the exact same principle to your car.
5. Keep air-con usage to a minimum and the windows closed
Ok, we understand this can be a difficult task - especially in summer, however, using the air-con can increase the fuel usage by up to 10% if your car has a small engine. Furthermore, when you open your windows, it changes the shape of the car, which becomes more of a problem when you are on the motorway and moving more quickly.
To keep your car a bit cooler in summer, try using a windscreen reflector and parking in the shade where possible.
Now that you’re in the know on how to lower your fuel consumption, get going and put them into action!
By Caitlin Bloodworth