Top 10 fuel saving tips for UK Drivers

Published Date: 18th Dec 2015

The price of petrol and diesel has drop to record lows in the last year, and here’s how you can save even more money.


1. Don’t make as many trips

When your engine gets cold it uses more fuel for the first five miles. We would advise doing all you need to do in one trip, instead of splitting your trips throughout the day or week. This isn’t always possible but if you’re picking family up or dropping them off, do the supermarket shop or buy a newspaper at same time.


2. Try not to get stuck in rush hour

Probably the worst place to have your car, and it will also impact you fuel economy . Every time that you stop and start in traffic, your car needs first gear and a huge amount of fuel to get moving again. Second gear is not much better. The best solution is to not travel during the rush hour. You can also save some fuel by trying to understand what the traffic is doing in front of you, and travelling steadily at a slow speed.


3. Keep your windows and sunroof closed

It's not so much of a problem when you're driving in town, but when you're on the motorway doing 70 mph, the aerodynamics of your car are very important. If you can hear wind noise as your car goes along -it’s actually costing you more money. You can't do much about the design of your car, but you can avoid opening your windows and sunroof. You can use the air-conditioning in your car instead.


4. Take off your roof rack or ski box

Shed that weight off the top of your car, whether it’s a roof rack, bicycle rack or ski box. Even if the roof rack is empty, it increases drag and makes your car use more fuel, and your ski box is similar to having a car strapped on top of yours.


5. Just keep the bare essentials in your car.

The more weight you have in your car – the more power it needs to move around. You would not drag a heavy rucksack with you if you didn’t need it, the same goes with your car. So if you have drinks, golf clubs or anything else weighing down your car, take it out and save yourself a pretty penny.


6. Smooth Acceleration

Traveling in the 5th gear at about 50 mph is the ideal scenario. Be a patient driver, and you'll have much lower petrol or diesel bills - it's that simple. Try to avoid overtaking the car in front, as the best case scenario is that you’ll end up in front of it at the next red light. The power needed to overtake isn’t worth fuel, as you’ll realise when you look at your fuel gauge.


7. Try not to Accelerate to the floor

Another one that comes as a surprise to some people, pressing the accelerator all the way down to avoid switching down a gear also costs you money. You often hear cars revving to stay in that high gear, but understand that they are burning more fuel doing that than if they just switched down a gear. It's not just to do with what gear you're in. You may be in a high gear and travelling at a sensible speed, but if you're pushing the accelerator down a long way to avoid changing into a lower gear (into third from fourth, for example), then you're actually using more fuel not less.


8. Turn the air-conditioning off

The air-conditioning does not use as much fuel as having your windows open at high speeds, but still has an impact on your fuel economy. It’s a habit for some people, but leaving it on will hit you in the wallet. It is most useful in the winter, when you need to clear your windows and heat up the cabin so that you don’t turn into an ice cube.  So turn it off once your windows are clear and you are comfortable.


9. Stay within the speed limit

Most road users are generally in a rush when they are in the car, trying to get home from work at rush hour or beat the traffic in mid-afternoon. If you undertake a long journey of 200 miles and travel at 80mph rather than 70mph, the car is travelling 20 minutes less, but it does infact use more fuel in total. the 20 minutes you saved will cost you £7 extra in fuel.


10. Keep an eye on your tyres

If your tyre pressure is too low it will cost you more money to run it, as it needs more fuel to run the wheels round. We would advise you to check your pressures every couple of weeks to ensure your not throwing money down the drain. You can find your tyre pressures in your car manual.


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