Tips on How to Save Fuel when Driving

6 07 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from futureatlas.com

A pitfall of living in the 21st century, in a time of credit crunches and triple dip recessions is that prices are rising. They will do for the foreseeable future and that is especially the case when it comes to fuel.

Beyond modern obstacles such as trying to find out how to get car finance with bad credit, there are ways you can cut down on bills by following a few simple driving rules. The average driver in the UK could save themselves up to £350 a year.

Firstly, think about switching your engine off when you are going to be stationary for more than a minute and a half. You may think that starting the engine at regular intervals will push up the fuel consumption, but this is not the case with a lot of modern vehicles. You can also switch gear sooner – a higher gear means you will use less fuel.

Instead of waiting, change gear between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm. Also, even though it may be hot, close your windows when travelling at speeds of higher than 60 mph. It may seem like nothing, but four open windows will add to the car’s drag quite significantly.

If you are serious about keeping your fuel consumption low, think about adapting your driving style and approach. Driving slower uses less petrol or diesel, so think about setting off a little bit earlier. The 15 mph difference between 70 mph and 85 mph accounts for around 25 per cent of your fuel efficiency. Try to adopt a smoother driving technique, less aggressive braking will cut down on fuel consumption.

In terms of approach, make sure you know exactly where you will be driving and make sure you don’t get lost. Similarly, instead of making frequent short trips to shops or relatives, try to combine them into one journey. When push comes to shove, do you really need to get in the car? Hopping on a bicycle or walking can be just as convenient sometimes. It will also be better for your health and the wellbeing of the environment.

You might want to try losing some of the weight in your car – such as bags you don’t need. They may seem insignificant but every little helps when it comes to pleasing your bank manager. Do you really need a roof box? Make sure it has been removed when not in use.

Don’t warm your engine up, either. Most modern cars do not need this and will give you good efficiency and drive regardless of how long ago the keys were turned in the ignition.

Make sure your car is always in good condition. Keeping an eye on the tyre pressure will keep fuel consumption low. Do this before long journeys and at least once a week otherwise as it is also far safer to drive on properly inflated tyres.

Sometimes, keeping cost down is a simple as being frugal. Turn off your air conditioner. If you can handle being a little bit hotter for ten minutes you will see the rewards add up when you have a little bit extra cash saved up at the end of the month.

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