With energy prices on a seemingly endless rise over the past few years, the fuel we use to power our essential day to day activities can end up costing us a lot more than wed like it to.
However, with a few handy tips and tricks, saving car fuel can be a doddle any time of year. If youre looking to cut your petrol and diesel costs, our guide on driving economically should set you on your way to fuel efficiency. Not only could you save money, but in our increasingly eco-friendly world, you might also be helping the planet too.
Keep your car well maintained
It can sometimes be easy to become complacent about the state of our cars so long as theyre not causing us any real inconveniences, but lets face it – that black smoke coming out of your exhaust isnt normal. Regular maintenance is essential, and an easy starting point is to just check your tyre pressure. If your tyres are underinflated, theyll create more resistance on the road, meaning youll use more fuel even when driving normally.
Another easy, day to day bit of maintenance you should do is to check your oil. If youre using the wrong type, this can affect your cars performance, and again use up more fuel.
Performing a little everyday DIY to make sure your car is running well is recommended, but unless youre a qualified mechanic, theres probably a few things youll be unable to notice about your cars performance and fuel consumption. Whilst you might like to boast about your skills to your mates, theres only so much you can do, so put down that wrench and get into your nearest garage. Regular servicing wont only ensure your cars engine is running efficiently, but can also help spot other problems itd be hard to notice yourself, such as dirty air filters.
Driving with excess weight is one of the easiest ways to end up paying more for fuel. Were not suggesting a crash diet just limiting what you carry with you on a day to day basis. Whilst its fine to carry emergency essentials like spare tyres, if youre a bit of a car hoarder, it might be time to have a bit of a clear out; do you really need to carry that set of golf clubs with you everywhere?
If you have a roof rack or roof box on top of your vehicle, youll only be increasing wind resistance, making your car work harder and using up more fuel. Removing inessential roof racks and luggage can streamline your car, making it more aerodynamic and thus more economic.
For all you boy racers out there, it might be time to ditch those spoilers. Its often thought that spoiler improve the aerodynamics of a car, but in reality they do the opposite, increasing traction and therefore fuel usage.
Plan your journey
Before setting off, double check that youre certain of your route and destination. Those wrong turns and endless minutes searching for parking spaces can all add up to cost you money. While in theory a sat nav should be the answer, anybody whos spent any time shouting at the tiny voice trapped in the box will be able to tell you otherwise.
If youre really uncertain of your route and destination, go old-school and check a road map. If anything its worth it for the warm, smug feeling youll get after reaching your destination and ignoring the worried commands of Mr or Mrs Nav.
Alter your driving style
Were not going to tell you how to drive, and this doesnt mean calling up your old driving instructor for a reunion. However, there are a few tricks you can incorporate in order to cut down on fuel consumption.
If youre able to, keep rolling. Frequent stopping and starting is a major source of fuel usage, so try keep moving without braking as much as you can.
Dont slam on the brakes, and make slowing down as smooth as possible. Make sure your timing is right, and release the accelerator in time to avoid having to change gear.
Keep to speed limits. Its fairly obvious, but the faster you drive, the more fuel youll use.
If youre not driving, turn of the engine. If youre waiting static and not in traffic, theres no reason for your engine to be running, and youre simply wasting fuel.
Turn off inessential electrics
Both air conditioning and heating systems are big drains on fuel, and you should only use them if really needed. When turning on heating, never blast the heat out full whack. If you put the seat on a lower setting, your car will just take a little longer to warm up, but will still be toasty. While opening windows in summer is a bigger drain on fuel consumption than air conditioning, this doesnt mean this can be turned up to the highest setting. Again, set the air conditioning on a low or medium setting, and in time your car will feel cool and comfortable.
Whether youre looking to save the planet or just a few pennies, we hope our guide to driving economically has given you a few valuable tips. If youd like specific advice for the car you own, simply get in contact with your local Bristol Street Motors dealership, and well be happy to help you out.