Tuesday 3 April 2012

How to make your fuel last longer

Have you sat in a queue to buy petrol this week? Are you thinking about a journey you may not be able to make in a couple of weeks time because you won't be able to fill up again?  
It now seems that a strike over the Easter weekend has been ruled out completely so we have a break from the fuel worries for the holiday weekend, but this is a timely reminder that most of us are reliant on fuel, despite the escalating prices now exceeding over 140p a litre.
Could you squeeze more miles out of your tank by becoming a more efficient motorist?

Potential saving on fuel over a year

According to the AA, taking steps to drive more efficiently can result in an average 10% saving, with some people saving more than 30% on their fuel costs. If you spend £50 on fuel a week, then that’s potentially a £2600 a year saving. 

First step to saving fuel
If you’re ready to save some money then the first thing to do is have a good look at your car. Is it running at peak efficiency?

Make sure it’s been serviced regularly as this is essential to maintaining engine efficiency. Also, check your tyre pressure is what the handbook recommends, as under-inflated tyres are more resistant, causing the car to use more fuel.
Your handbook probably also recommends changing the pressure for heavier loads, so always check you have the best tyre pressure possible.

Don’t carry unnecessary weight in the car and ditch the roof rack if you aren’t using it. Making the car heavier or more wind resistant means it needs more fuel to run.

Of course, some cars are more efficient than others and it’s worth bearing this in mind when you’re next in the market for a new or second-hand vehicle.

For more information about the best car to choose, visit DirectGov's useful link here.  
Drivers can get the most from their fuel by:

Avoiding unnecessary use of the brakes Speeding towards red lights and then braking, for example, is just a waste of fuel. Aim to accelerate and decelerate more slowly by reading the road ahead. You’ll save money and be a safer driver. 

Driving at the speed limit is most efficient The AA states that driving at 70mph uses as much as 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph.

Thinking ahead about using the air conditioning Air conditioning is the enemy of efficient driving, so if you’re just motoring around town then open a window instead. Use the air con on the motorway, where open windows increase the drag which is less efficient.
Other ways you can save fuel
  • Plan journeys carefully in advance so the danger of getting lost is avoided.
  • Switch off the engine when you’re stuck at a crossing or stationary in a traffic jam.
  • Turn two trips into one by carefully planning your day's car journey 
  • Keep an eye on your mileage and aim to reduce it week by week.


Visit your local Good Garage Scheme member who can advise you if your car is running most efficiently.

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