A regular Volkswagen saloon has managed to travel 1527 miles on a single tankful of fuel – setting a new distance record.

The car, a 1.6 Bluemotion model, topped the previous best by 68 miles, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Motoring journalist Gavin Conway drove the car from Maidstone, Kent to the south of France and back.

The journey was mainly on motorways and French autoroutes but also included some town driving. He averaged 45mph over the three-day trip and used fuel at the rate of almost 90 miles per gallon. This result was way better than the Passat Bluemotion’s official economy of 64.2mpg overall. The car used was a standard model and carried two occupants throughout.

At the start of the test the Passat’s tank was drained and filled with 77.25 litres of regular diesel fuel – as you’d buy on any garage forecourt. The fuel cost worked out at just 6.17p per mile. Two patrol men from the AA followed the car throughout its journey to witness the event for the Guinness record. The Passat used was powered by a 104bhp diesel motor. As with all Bluemotions, it rides closer to the road and has aerodynamic add-ons to help iut slip through the air more easily. It also has taller gears and easy roll tyres, plus a stop-start mechanism which helps save fuel when driving in traffic. The AA’s Drive Smart advised Gavin on economy driving techniques for the record attempt.

The trip broke a record held for eight years by John and Helen Taylor, an Australian couple who drove a diesel Peugeot 406 Down Under, managing 1459 miles on a single tankful. Pic: courtesy of Media Inventions Ltd.