Despite the 5p fuel tax cut announced in this week’s spring statement, the cost of motoring is higher than ever.
Prices at the pump have soared in recent months, with the average price of unleaded petrol reaching over 155 pence a liter at the start of the month, according to data firm Experian Catalist.
So getting the most out of that precious fuel tank has never been more important.
With that in mind, the CarShop car market has shared 12 driving and car maintenance hacks that increase fuel efficiency – some by up to 25% – that could save you hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. .
Tips for saving fuel
1. Make sure the tire pressure is correct
Under-inflated and over-inflated tires are not only dangerous, they also waste fuel. Tires typically lose up to two pounds of air per month, so check their pressure every two weeks.
Research shows that if tires are underinflated by 20% – or around 6psi – up to 10% more fuel is used, costing £1.05 for every 80km travelled. So just by checking them regularly drivers can save almost £200 over the year based on average UK mileage.
2. Reduce electricity
If you don’t need your air conditioning, rear window heater, defogger fan and headlights, turn them off.
On-board air conditioning uses up to 1 liter of fuel for every 60 miles driven and costs £1.80 for an average diesel car and £1.67 for a petrol car. Making this small change can save over £200 a year.
3. Maintain your vehicle
Regular maintenance and servicing improves a vehicle’s efficiency and significantly improves its fuel mileage.
Statistics show that fuel savings of up to 10% can be achieved by replacing a clogged air filter, worn spark plugs or old engine oil and will also help retain its value when you have just sold.
By doing so, you could save up to 63 pence for every 30 miles you travel – or £147 per year based on average UK annual mileage.
4. Don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go
It’s a real waste of fuel and your engine heats up faster when you’re riding anyway. So set your sat nav, check traffic, make that call and read those messages before you start your engine.
Idling can use up to two liters of fuel per hour, emitting over 5.26 kg of CO2. It costs around £3.20 an hour, on average, for petrol cars and a bit more – £3.40 – for diesel.
And, if your car has a stop-start system, make sure it’s turned on to save fuel while stationary.
5. Brake and accelerate less
Both burn fuel, so try to drive smoothly. Accelerate gently and read the traffic situation in front of you to avoid unnecessary braking. Drive slowly at traffic lights or queues to avoid having to come to a complete stop and coast to a stop rather than slamming on the brakes.
Aggressive acceleration and braking can consume up to 60% more fuel, quickly making every trip that much more expensive.
6. Plan your trip
Getting lost wastes fuel – not to mention stress in the car – so enter the address details into your GPS and check the route before setting off. It is also worth listening to traffic information. A 10 mile detour while trying to find your bearings can cost upwards of £2.
Staying in traffic jams is also costly, so avoid them by planning your trip and checking for updates along the way. An average car burns two liters of fuel an hour in traffic jams, costing around £3.25 on average for unleaded cars and £3.60 for diesel.
7. Keep your car streamlined
Roof racks and trunks all increase fuel consumption – as do open windows and sunroofs – so pack them carefully and remove them when not in use.
Driving with a roof box consumes up to 25% more fuel than without by affecting its aerodynamics, costing £3.15 more over a 100 mile journey. Even an empty roof rack consumes up to 15% more fuel.
8. Declutter your car
Less weight means less fuel, so if you don’t need what’s in your trunk, get it out. Remember to leave in any safety gear.
9. Use the correct specification of engine oil to improve efficiency
Check your vehicle’s manual to see what it is. Modern engines are built to finer tolerances and therefore require low viscosity oils which can also improve fuel economy by around 3%. That’s over 26p per 50 mile journey in an average diesel car.
10. Enable Eco Mode
It reduces throttle responsiveness and engine power, which consumes less fuel.
On automatic cars it will also shift earlier to keep the vehicle in the most economical gear which is calculated from the engine load.
You can save around 5 per cent on fuel this way – that’s 52p for an average diesel car on a 50 mile journey, and slightly less for a petrol engine.
11. Combine Short Trips
Cold starts use more fuel, so combine trips and runs if you can.
Whenever possible, go one round trip rather than several short ones to avoid starting the engine cold too often.
Cold engines generally consume twice as much fuel as a warm engine.
12. Walk or ride a bike
If you only drive about a mile, do you really need to use the car? Fresh air and exercise will do you good.
Ben Scholes of CarShop said: “After weeks of record highs at the pump, we welcome the reduction in petrol and diesel taxes, but it doesn’t go far enough.
“It is more important than ever to consider how we drive and maintain our engines. A few changes to the way we drive – and the way we take care of our cars – can save us a pretty penny in fuel costs over time. And, let’s face it, it has never been more important.
To find out more about CarShop, visit www.carshop.co.uk.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-26 16:21:19