Putting fuel in your vehicle is a necessary expenditure that can’t be avoided. The expense could, however, be reduced with a few fuel saving tips. Dexel Tyre and Auto Centre explore the ways you could reduce your monthly vehicle fuel bill by making some small changes below:
The price of petrol and diesel can vary depending on where you fill up. Generally, supermarkets tend to offer the best deals so it might be an idea to top up when you are doing your weekly shop. Service stations on motorways and dual carriageways, although convenient, offer the highest price and can cost approximately up to an additional 7.5 pence per litre, so if you have a long journey to make, try to plan ahead and fill up before hitting the road.
Stopping in between journeys will increase your fuel consumption due to the fact that cold starts use more fuel. Ideally, you should avoid shorter journeys which could be walked or combine trips so that you do not need to make separate journeys. This should help to cut down your fuel consumption.
Quite simply: the faster you drive, the more fuel you use. The additional amount of fuel you use by driving faster is actually quite surprising if you bear in mind that driving at 70mph uses up to 15% more fuel than driving at 50mph*.
Driving in higher gears reduces fuel consumption as this lowers your engine speed. When possible, you should change up and drive in the highest gear you can but make sure you do this without labouring the engine, as this can actually use more fuel!
Drastic or aggressive accelerating and braking can have a negative effect on your fuel consumption. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the road ahead so you can view any hazards which may require you to slow down in advance. This will also improve your driving skills and road awareness.
Although it’s tempting to leave the air conditioning or heating on whilst driving, this does have an impact on your fuel consumption. Use it when you have to: to demist your windows in winter, when it is unbearably hot and once a week let it run to keep it in good condition, but otherwise, try not to use it as much if you desire better fuel efficiency.
The heavier the load the vehicle is carrying, the greater the fuel consumption will be. So you should remove any unnecessary weight such as heavy bags from your vehicle. Items on the outside of your vehicle also have an impact such as bike racks and ski boxes, so it is worth the effort to detach and remove these and only use them when required.
Driving with your windows open, especially at high speeds, can increase aerodynamic drag and the extra force acting on the vehicle means it needs to use more fuel to remain at the same speed. This can be even more increased if you drive with your sunroof open.
Driving on under-inflated tyres is not only dangerous, but it can also waste fuel. The reason for this is that tyres with low pressures require extra fuel to provide the momentum for the required movements. You should check your tyre pressures every three weeks, which can be done easily at most service stations.
Although not always an option, avoiding traffic can have a drastic improvement on your fuel consumption. This is because the stopping and starting along with driving in lower gears requires more effort from your engine and in turn this demands more fuel. If you tend to drive down congested roads to work, it might be worth investigating different routes as a longer, but clearer road may provide a more economical choice.
If you have recently noticed an unusual or unexpected rise in your fuel consumption, it may mean that there could be an underlying problem with your vehicle. For peace of mind, contact your local Dexel Tyre and Auto Centre and arrange a check.