The survey of 5,700 people from across Europe showed that 76 per cent do not regularly check tyres, 38 per cent never remove roof storage equipment, 18 per cent never shop around, and 17 per cent always leave extra items in the car.
The poll also revealed further opportunities to cut fuel consumption – 71 per cent of drivers admit breaking speed limits, 42 per cent never use the most economical route, 39 per cent drive aggressively and 14 per cent leave air conditioning on all the time.
Ford vehicles include many technologies that are designed to help drivers reduce fuel consumption, including Auto Start-Stop, which automatically switches the engine off at times when it would otherwise be idling. Ford commissioned the survey of drivers from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to identify the opportunity for changes in driver behaviour to affect fuel bills. It found that with people on average spending almost £2,500 on fuel each year, bills could be cut by £820.
“We ensure that every Ford vehicle offers the greatest potential for cost-efficient motoring through developing innovations such as the small yet powerful 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine – International Engine of the Year twice over," said Wulf-Peter Schmidt, Ford's European sustainability director. “At the same time, there is also much the driver can do to save money on fuel – from adjusting driving style to reducing unnecessary load in the vehicle."
The survey revealed more than a quarter of U.K. drivers never shop around for fuel (26 per cent) and U.K. women the most likely also to buy a bar of chocolate (19 per cent). Italian drivers are the most likely to leave unnecessary items in their car (23 per cent), and the most likely to leave roof storage equipment in place (43 per cent). Less than half said they would ever choose the most economical route (49 per cent).
German drivers are the most likely to speed (89 per cent) and drive aggressively (57 per cent). French drivers are the least likely to make a monthly tyre pressure check (18 per cent). Spanish drivers are most likely to always leave the air conditioning system on (19 per cent).
The survey also revealed that after filling up 45 per cent of people also add to their spending at the pumps by impulse buying other items. German drivers were the most likely to buy something additional (63 per cent), while Italian men were the most likely also to buy a coffee (28 per cent).
* Survey carried out by Opinion Matters in April 2014. 5,711 people were questioned across five European countries; France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.K.