With prices at the pumps putting a strain on our bank balances, we thought we’d take a look at how to save yourself needing to fill up as frequently, with some fuel saving tips.
Let’s start with an obvious one, drive less! You might need to dash out for a loaf of bread, but do you really need to take the car? Save yourself some money by leaving the car at home and walking instead. Or if you’re going to pick up your kids from school, combine your errands into one trip, get the bread on the way, then you’re making one journey instead of two.
None of us like to be stuck in traffic but unfortunately it can be an inevitable part of our day. If you can miss driving during rush hour and eating the extra fuel, then do, but if you can’t, think about how you drive. Stopping and starting in first gear through traffic uses a lot of fuel. Instead of braking and accelerating try and move at a steady slow speed instead.
Cars use more fuel the more weight they carry. So, take all of the stuff out of your boot that you don’t really need and leave it at home. That also applies to the amount of fuel the car is carrying – that liquid is heavy stuff! So, it’s best not to drive around with a full tank of fuel if you don’t need it. If you have a roof rack, as well as adding extra weight, it makes your car less aerodynamic, so in between long trips, when you don’t need it, take it off.
This one is for when you’re out of the city and driving more quickly. It may not seem like a significant issue, but having the windows open makes the car less aerodynamic, which means more drag on the car and more fuel used.
Air-con is a useful gadget in a car, it keeps us cool in the summer and stops your windows misting up in the winter. However, using the air-con in your car uses up your fuel, so best to turn it off unless you really need it.
The lower the pressure of your tyres, the more fuel your car needs to use to get it moving. So, check your tyre pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct level and you’re not wasting fuel unnecessarily.
You shouldn’t be ignoring the speed limit whatever the reason for your journey, but if you think you’re saving time going faster, you won’t be saving fuel. Simply put, driving faster uses more fuel, so you might make it to your destination a little quicker, but you’ll need to fill your car up sooner.
If you push the accelerator down too far to avoid changing into a lower gear, then you’re actually using more fuel than it would take to change down a gear. Obviously if you’re driving an automatic you’ve no need to worry, it’ll choose the right gear for you!
As well as getting into the habit of doing all of these things, you can also save some cash by using an app to find the cheapest fuel in your area, or simply keep an eye on local offers. While all prices tend to increase and decrease together, there are still stations where there is better value to be had and the savings add up when you are filling up your tank.