Six surprising ways to cut your fuel consumption

January 27, 2017 | By | In Advice, News
fuel-gauge

Apart from the cost of the vehicle, fuel is one of the largest costs of car ownership, especially if you drive frequently.

It can be a drain on your resources, and a drag to have to stop at the pumps so often. The more fuel you use, the more harmful emissions are released into the air, so high fuel consumption is also worse for the environment.

Whether you drive a petrol or a diesel model, achieving a low consumption is therefore of a high importance.

Why reduce fuel consumption?

Why should you reduce your fuel consumption? As alluded to in the intro, there are two main reasons – expense and environment.

The less fuel you use, the less you’ll need to spend at the pumps – simple. And the less fossil fuel you burn, the less polluted the air will be.

So read on if you want to be a (slightly) richer and more eco-friendly driver.

How can fuel consumption be reduced?

Believe it or not, but there are actually quite a lot of ways in which you can reduce your fuel consumption. From sticking to the speed limit, to having your car serviced regularly, the below methods tell you how you can reduce your consumption and be kinder to the environment.

1) Stick to the speed limit
Speeding or driving at higher speeds forces a vehicle’s engine to work harder, therefore burning more fuel.

2) Plan your journey
If you get lost, or take a longer route than needed, then your vehicle will use more fuel than if you had ascertained the quickest and shortest route before setting off. Invest in a satnav to become a pro at journey planning.

3) Avoid rush hour
This falls under planning your journey, but where you can, avoid driving at peak times on the roads. Not only will this improve your fuel consumption (sitting in traffic jams uses fuel) but open roads are better for your mental health, too!

4) Avoid sudden braking and acceleration
Sorry boy racers, but suddenly braking and accelerating can use up to 30 per cent more fuel than if you drive at a steady speed. It also increases wear and tear in a vehicle. To avoid such driving, read the road ahead, and slow down or speed up steadily.

5) Keep air con or heating low
While it may be tempting to close the windows and whack the air con on high on a hot day, bear in mind that air conditioning (and heating) uses fuel. Instead, at low speeds think about opening your windows to let a breeze in. Above 50 miles an hour, however, open windows cause drag and air con becomes more efficient. Whatever you do, don’t have your air-conditioning on, and the windows open!

6) Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated
All tyres release a small amount of air over time, regardless of whether you drive the car often or not. Checking your tyres regularly and ensuring they are topped up to the correct level can improve fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent.

7) Service your car regularly
Another on the maintenance side, but this time a little more complicated. Regular servicing and maintenance improves a vehicle’s efficiency, which therefore can improve its fuel economy.

8) Buy a new car
If your vehicle isn’t becoming any more efficient after servicing, then maybe it’s time to think about getting another. It may seem counterproductive to spend money to save money, but buying a new car will save you money on fuel, tax and insurance. A new vehicle worth in the region of £10,000 could save you up to £12 a week on fuel.

9) Try eco-driver training
No matter how economical the vehicle, fuel consumption eventually comes down to the driver. Do you have a heavy right foot? Or an infrequently shifting left hand? Maybe it’s time to think about eco-driver training. It won’t turn you into an eco-warrior, but it will teach you the tips and tricks of driving economically, therefore reducing your fuel economy.

10) Avoid carrying unnecessary weight
No, we’re not talking about making the kids walk to school, but getting rid of unnecessary loads from your vehicle can make it more efficient, by reducing weight and improving aerodynamics. For example, leave the tools that you’re unlikely to need on the shopping run at home, and remove that bulky roofbox, too.

How to calculate fuel consumption per km

To calculate exactly how much fuel your vehicle uses per kilometer, there’s a simple equation.

Take the amount of fuel it takes when you fill up and divide it by your distance driven in kilometres since the last top up.

Alternatively, look in your vehicle’s handbook for an average fuel consumption figure.

Have you found our tips and tricks to be helpful? Share this list on social media, to help your friends and family reduce their fuel consumption, too!

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