Long gone are the days when it cost a little under a £1 a litre to fill up your tank, and while the price of fuel does fluctuate, it often seems to rise faster than it falls. At present, the average price for unleaded petrol is 127.6pence per litre while diesel is currently priced at around 131.6pence per litre. UK motorists are spending on average around £100 a month just to fill up their cars but obviously this varies from vehicle to vehicle! With this in mind, we’ve outlined some smart driving tips below that could see your fuel last longer, saving you £££s in the long run!
When it comes to using less fuel, try and keep your driving smooth. Using a higher gear - whilst maintaining safety, along with gentle acceleration should help with this. If traffic lights are red or there’s a long queue up ahead, easing off the accelerator early and gradually reducing your speed will also help; why speed up just to wait or stop and start?
Driving during heavy traffic also has an effect on fuel consumption. While this is clearly easier said than done, avoiding heavy traffic will have an impact as stop-start traffic requires the use of first gear and a lot of fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again but obviously during certain times, particularly rush hour, we understand that this is unavoidable.
The condition of our tyres also plays a part and keeping them maintained by checking the condition, pressure and tread depth will help in the long run as there is less rolling resistance with the road – which accounts for around 15% of our overall fuel consumption! It’s important to check your tyres regularly as deformed tyres, from lack of air, increase the friction with the road, resulting in more fuel needed to provide motion.
Removing any unnecessary weight can also go a long to improving fuel consumption. Just like the human body, cars require more energy to move more weight, taking out any unrequired items will help improve this, the same goes for a roof box. While a roof rack or box is useful in terms of additional storage space or transporting larger items, it will increase drag and use more fuel to overcome this therefore it is advisable to remove it when it is not in use.
Particularly during the cold winter months, a car engine takes a lot longer to warm up and while it’s trying to do so, uses more fuel especially in the first 4 or so miles. Where possible, try and avoid short journeys as the engine stays cold when you drive less than 2 miles and produces 60% more pollution than a warm engine.
Fuel consumption is also affected by electricity and the more electricity your car has to produce, the more fuel it will use. Things like air conditioning and heating require electricity to run, and while the heater recycles heat that is already being used to power the car, air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by 8-10%. When looking for ways to reduce fuel consumption, it’s advisable to turn off the heating or air conditioning and not have them on longer than necessary.
Maintaining a steady speed and reducing the amount of pressure you apply to the accelerator can also go a long way when it comes to using fuel more economically and, by keeping a low speed, can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%!
While fuel remains essential in enabling us to get from A to B, it does come at a rather costly price, but by adapting the way we drive and making a few minor changes, could make a huge difference when it comes to fuel efficiency and getting in those few extra miles.
Will you be putting these driving tips into place? Let us know whether you’ve managed to reduce your fuel consumption through our social media channels!
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