How to be more fuel efficient

Being able to drive can grant independence and unlimited freedom, but unfortunately it can also give you financial nightmares. Car tax, MOT, fuel; the bills never seem to end, so why not try and save yourself some money by making your journeys more efficient. This sounds boring, but since when has having more money been boring?

Driving behaviours that'll help you save fuel

1. Slow down

Slowing down every day could be reducing your fuel efficiency by up to 33%. It will also reduce the amount of braking that you have to do which wastes copious amounts of energy from the fuel that you’ve already burnt.

2. Drive smoothly

Driving calmly and with the flow of traffic will improve your mileage. Rushing up to the queue of traffic, forceful accelerating and braking furiously are all a big waste of fuel. Anticipating stopping will mean you avoid slamming your brakes on. The more you can keep a smooth and steady speed, the more fuel efficient you will be. If you do come to a complete stop, start again gently.

3. Avoid idling

If it’s obvious that you’ll be on stop for more than 30 seconds, then you should turn off your engine as idling a vehicle can waste a lot of fuel. But equally, don’t go turning it off at every set of lights, because constantly starting your vehicles engine can lead to unnecessary wear and tear.

4. Combine trips

This may seem like a common sense approach, but you’d be surprised how many people live their lives one trip at a time. If you’re heading out shopping and want to get to a number of shops, then hit them all in the one trip - why would you go home and come out again? Efficiency is key.

Quick car tips to help you save fuel

5. Correct air pressure in the tyres

This is something that you should regularly check for safety, but it can also reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 3%. The correct tyre pressure can be found in your driver’s handbook. By keeping on top of the pressure levels you will also reduce the possibility of uneven wear on your tyre tread.

6. Lighten and streamline your vehicle

It’s common sense that a heavier vehicle will have to work harder than a lighter vehicle, so if you have lots of rubbish and random items floating around your car then it’s about time you had a clear out.

Only have your roof rack on your car if you’re using it. The more aerodynamic your car, the more fuel-efficient you will be. If possible, put your luggage in the boot.

7. Keep your windows up

This can be difficult when the temperatures are soaring, but its most definitely worth it. The open windows increase the drag on the vehicle which reduces its efficiency.

8. Fill up on cold mornings

Something that not many people are aware of, fuel is denser when cold and fuel pumps measure by volume, so it makes sense to fill up when the temperatures are on the chillier side.

9. Park in shady areas

This is not always possible, but if you are aware of its benefits then you may try to do it more often. The high temperatures will increase the rate of fuel evaporation within your tank so get that vehicle into the shade, every little helps.

10. Avoid using air conditioning

Most people will now be aware of this one; your engine will be working harder if you’re asking it to run your vehicle and to power the AC system. Turning off your AC or heating can reduce fuel consumption – now this really does depend on how far you’ll go to save fuel! If it’s a chilly day, wrap up warm or just use your heating for a few minutes to get the car warm. Use the flow-through ventilation on a warm day too. If you’re driving on a motorway or a dual carriageway, keep your windows closed to reduce drag.

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