How to use less fuel when driving

driving

Spending too much money on petrol or diesel? Follow our top tips for cutting your fuel bill!

Drive smoothly and anticipate hazards

Keep plenty of distance between yourself and the car in front, look ahead and anticipate hazards before you’re right on top of them.

The less you have to brake and accelerate harshly, the less fuel you will use.

Change gear earlier

Many drivers rev too harshly and change gear too late. Experts suggest moving up a gear when your reach 2,500 RPM in a petrol car or 2,000 in a diesel.

Reduce your speed

According to the AA, you could save up to 25% in fuel just by dropping your motorway speed from 80 mph to 70 mph. Slowing from 70mph to 60mph on smaller roads can still lead to a 10% fuel saving.

Take care going over speed bumps

Again, harsh braking and sudden acceleration eats up fuel. Plan ahead and slow down gradually when approaching a speed bump.

Be as aerodynamic as possible

Wind resistance is a killer when it comes to fuel consumption. You can reduce drag by keeping your windows closed at high speeds and removing roof racks/ boxes when you don’t need them. Experts estimate that you can save up to 20% on fuel over the course of a year by doing this.

Look after your car

Getting your car serviced and checking your oil regularly will improve your engine efficiency. Most cars need servicing every 12 months or every 12,000 miles (whichever you hit first).

Take care of your tyres

Check your tyre pressure regularly – you can find the correct pressure in your car’s handbook or by using an online service such as Kwik Fit’s tyre pressure search. This is particularly important before a long motorway journey.

According to the RAC, correctly inflated tyres can improve fuel efficiency by 2%.

Reduce excess weight

Driving around with unnecessary items in your boot just wastes fuel. Remember that fuel is heavy too, so unless you’re going on a long journey it makes sense to keep your fuel tank less than half full.

Careful with the AC

Which uses more fuel – opening your windows or turning up the air conditioning? The answer is… well it depends.

Your AC system does use extra fuel, so cracking a window is best when driving at lower speeds. But once you hit the motorway, it’s more efficient to close the windows and use the air conditioning instead.

Get a manual car

Automatic carsĀ use 10% to 15% more fuel than manuals, according to the AA – although the difference is minimal once you get up to motorway speeds. Still, it’s worth considering gearbox type and fuel type when shopping for a new car.

Find the cheapest fuel

Perhaps most importantly, find the service station with the lowest prices. You local garage might be the most convenient, but it may not be the cheapest!

 

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