If you want to cut the cost of driving and become more fuel efficient then read our helpful tips below.
Consider doing it differently
Replace some of your car journeys with a different method of transport:
Can you swap short car journeys with a walk instead? This is not only free, but good for your general health and fitness too.
Do you live close to a bus stop or train station? If so, then why not try replacing longer journeys with public transport? Seasonal tickets provide a cost effective method of transport for regular users.
Avoid short journeys
A cold engine uses twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can take up to 5 miles to become effective. Our bodies take a lot less time to warm up. By replacing short trips with a walk instead you can get some of your recommended 30 minutes of activity a day and save some money on fuel.
This is the most effective way of reducing your environmental impact without actually changing the way you drive. It’s simple: think ahead and combine several jobs into one trip. On your way to pick up the kids, you could stop off in town to pick up some food for dinner and pop to the hairdressers. By doing more in one trip you reduce the distance travelled, which saves you time, money and fuel.
Try different driving techniques
By adopting some simple driving techniques below, you can reduce your fuel consumption dramatically.
Drive smoothly – Heavy breaking and pulling away too fast uses up to 60% more fuel. Accelerate and decelerate slowly to conserve your fuel.
Anticipate traffic flow – Look ahead and keep sufficient distance from the vehicle in front to avoid sudden breaking.
Drive at an appropriate speed – Driving at 50 mph instead of 70 mph can improve fuel economy by 25% (directgov.uk).
Avoid overtaking – By accelerating quickly to overtake you often gain a little time, but you also use up more fuel in doing so.
Shift up as soon as possible – By avoiding high revs you can drive more economically. For petrol/LPG cars, change up a gear before 2,500 RPM and for diesel cars before 2000 RPM. Be prepared to skip gears to suit your speed and terrain.
Don’t idle – Switch off your engine if you’re stationary for more than a minute or two. Sitting idle with your engine burning wastes fuel, money and it pollutes the air.
Maintain the condition of your car
Have your vehicle serviced regularly; well-maintained cars tend to run more efficiently. Remember to check tyre pressure too as under inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by 40%.
Remove unnecessary baggage
Remove clutter from your boot; take the roof rack off and get rid of any other unnecessary items from your car. Extra weight on the car increases air resistance which increases the amount of fuel you consume.
For information on how to become an even smarter driver, read about the benefits of car sharing.