The car you choose will have a significant impact on your fuel consumption in the UK. However, there are ways you can save money, reduce pollution, and save fuel. It is more important than ever to make the most of your car’s fuel. With electricity, petrol, and diesel prices at record highs it is crucial to maximize their use. The high cost of filling up puts pressure on household incomes, who are already struggling to make ends meet for higher fuel bills and higher food costs.
Petrol price on the rise in the UK
The rapid rise in petrol and diesel prices is not slowing down, despite the RAC warning that filling a family car’s tank could cost PS110 and the AA urging government to immediately reduce fuel duty by 10p to save drivers from skyrocketing fuel costs.
Edmund King, president of AA, has also encouraged drivers to walk or cycle to cut costs. The head of the breakdown organization, Edmund King, also called for a fuel stabilizer in the UK to adjust fuel duty as prices rise.
Avoiding more expensive petrol stations can help reduce the cost of filling up. However, it is possible to lower the cost of running your car by making small adjustments to your driving style.
We have provide you some top tips for improving your car’s efficiency, and reducing fuel consumption.
1. Filling up petrol at the supermarket can help you save
You can save fuel by filling up at the supermarket. A litre of petrol in supermarkets usually costs less than other fuel forecourts.
Petrol is generally more affordable in cities than it is in rural areas. However, supermarkets, even in rural areas are still often cheaper than petrol stations owned by oil companies in cities.
2. Premium unleaded is best avoided
There is no harm in using premium unleaded or super unleaded. However, it’s not usually a benefit unless you are driving a high-performance car or an imported vehicle that requires a higher octane rating.
For most drivers, super unleaded is 10 to 15% more expensive per litre than regular unleaded. Avoiding premium pumps will save you money.
3. Drive smoothly
Try to maintain a smooth acceleration and avoid using harsh throttle inputs when driving. To reduce fuel consumption, you should ease off the gas as much as possible. Keep the revs between 1,500 to 2,500rpm for a petrol engine and 1,200 to 2,000rpm for a diesel engine. However, don’t overwork the engine.
Efficiency will be improved by reading the road ahead to avoid having to brake excessively. Braking is a waste of energy that can be used to move a car forward.
While some braking is inevitable, you can try to coast, keeping the car in its gear, to slow down and not brake.
Sometimes, you may not need to stop your car at all if you see the lights turn green. You won’t have to accelerate again and will save fuel. Be aware of other traffic: If a vehicle is very close to you, it’s a good idea for you to signal your brake lights when slowing down and lightly braking.
Electric cars can be driven gently and avoid unnecessary braking. Regenerative braking can be used in electric cars to increase range and extend the life of your mechanical brakes.
4. You can change gears earlier
Each car is unique, but there is a middle ground between choosing a higher gear sooner and not over-working the engine. Your engine’s efficiency won’t be improved by redlining it. To test if your engine can handle this, try changing a gear at 2,000 rpm sooner than usual.
A lot of new cars will have a gear-shift indicator. This tells you when it is most cost-effective to change gears. It can also be used to indicate if there is an eco driving mode. This mode reduces the throttle response and other changes to get the most fuel efficiency.
You can reduce your fuel consumption by skipping some gears, such as switching from 1st to third.
5. Keep to the speed limit
Your fuel consumption will increase the faster you drive.
According to Department for Transport (DfT), driving at 80 mph on the motorway consumes 25% more fuel than driving at 70 mph. Driving at 70mph rather than 60mph will require 9% more fuel and 5% more than driving 50mph.
6. Make sure you check your tyre pressure
Check that your tyre pressure is correct as indicated in the car’s manual (or on a sticker placed on the driver’s side door pillar). Incorrectly inflated tires will have more rolling resistance than properly inflated ones. You’ll need to push your engine a little harder if there’s not enough air.
Incorrectly inflating a tyre can also impact your car’s brake performance. They will wear unevenly or prematurely and you will need to replace them more often.
7. Reduce drag by emptying your boot
Get rid of all unnecessary equipment. Roof racks, external boxes, and bicycle carriers add weight. Remove them when you’re not using them. Additional weight increases the fuel consumption and makes the engine work harder to accelerate the car.
They can also improve wind resistance. This is true for bent bodies and ill-fitting trim. Open windows can cause significant drag. It may be more cost-efficient to have the air conditioner on when you drive at higher speeds.
8. Do not heat up your engine
If your car doesn’t have an automatic stop/start system you should not turn off your engine to save fuel. Once your engine is warm and you don’t expect your car to move for more than 3 minutes (at a crossing, for example), you will know that you have a good battery. Although advice can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and may differ, it is better to start your car immediately after it has turned on. You’ll save fuel and your engine will heat up faster, which can reduce the possibility of engine wear.
Use an ice scraper to remove ice from your car, rather than leaving it running and relying upon the heating.
9. Turn off the equipment
Air con is the most expensive piece of equipment in modern cars. The air con is great for hot days as well as winter dew, but if you can reduce its usage, it can help save fuel. It shouldn’t be neglected. If left unattended for long periods of time, air-conditioning systems can develop mould or cracks.
It’s the same for heated rear screens, deisters, and headlights. If you don’t use them, turn them off.
10. Use a satellite nav
To avoid getting lost or wasting fuel, plan your route carefully if you are travelling to a foreign country.
Sat navs can be used on any device or app to show you the fastest route to your destination. Many can even plot your route automatically, which helps to avoid traffic jams or accidents.
Some models are capable of choosing the most economical route, and can avoid fuel-sucking obstacles like large hills or areas with heavy stop-start traffic.
11. Keep your car in good condition
Make sure your car is maintained according to the service schedule. Clean oil and new filters will make your car run more efficiently, which can help reduce the risk of expensive repairs down the road.