Do you want to get more mileage from your car’s tank of fuel? Many of us are looking for ways to cut petrol bills these days because their prices seem to just go up and up. Fortunately, there are definitely ways to drive more efficiently if you want to save on petrol.
Reduce your speed
Travelling at a higher speed uses more fuel as the engine has to work harder. According to the Department of transport, a car speeding at 80mph uses 10 per cent more fuel compared with one travelling at 70mph.
Check your tyres
If your tyres are under-inflated, they will create more rolling resistance which means more engine power is required to get it moving. As tyre pressure changes with time and temperature, it is best to buy a tyre pressure gauge and measure regularly.
Can you actually walk to the shops or ride a bike? Are you able to carpool or take a train? Driving less will save you petrol and may result in health benefits too if it leads you to exercise more. Although avoiding driving altogether might not be possible, you can certainly review your driving patterns in order to consolidate some journeys. For example, instead of heading out to the shops three times a week, you can just do one big shop. If you are wondering what difference this will make, use a fuel calculator to find out how much your regular car trips are really costing you.
When it comes to petrol saving, size does matter. If you’re about to buy a car, then keep in mind that smaller cars tend to be more fuel efficient because their engines are likely to be smaller. This is because heavier cars need more engine power to move them.
Incidentally, don’t expect that the fuel consumption figures quoted by the car manufacturers will be what you experience with a new car. The AA advises that you should assume a fuel economy of 25 per cent less than the official figures.
Make it lighter
The heavier your car, the harder your engine has to work to move it along; so get rid of anything that adds weight – the unused pram, fold up bike, and definitely the roof rack.
Wind down windows
If you’re not travelling at a high speed, then having the window down instead of turning on the air conditioning will save you fuel. However, if you are driving along high speed motorways, then the wind resistance created by having open windows might be worse for fuel economy.
Instead of regularly speeding up and slowing down, try to keep to a slower and more constant speed which keeps accelerating and decelerating to a minimum. This is especially the case if you are driving along speed-humped roads. The logic is that it takes a lot more fuel to get a vehicle moving than to keep it moving.