Petrol prices seem to be always going up, so it can feel like a painful experience whenever you have to go to the pumps. But a few small changes could save you money, and could help you reduce your impact on the environment too. Here are some of the things to make sure you're doing to increase your fuel economy.
If you're not in a rush, don’t be afraid to take it easy on the roads. Not only will this make you safer, it will also make a big difference to your fuel consumption. The AA says that going 70mph rather than 80mph can use 25% less fuel, and reducing your speed further down to 60 can save a further 15%!
Having slightly flat tyres can create unwanted drag on your car that can cost you money. Check your tyre pressures to ensure that you are getting the best performance out of your car, especially when you are initially pulling away.
When it's really hot you might not want to follow this advice but, when the weather is cooler, turning your air-con off can make a huge difference to fuel consumption. Although this is not so much the case for the latest cars, many older cars will benefit a huge amount from this. Reducing your usage of air-con in start stop traffic will make the most significant difference to your fuel usage - around 5-10%!
Ensure that you do use your air con from time to time as not using it for prolonged period may cause it to break. At high speeds the air-con does not make a huge difference to fuel consumption so this would be the most ideal time.
Put simply, the further you're holding the accelerator pedal down, the more fuel you're using. This is one of the easiest ways to save on fuel as all you need to do is keep your revs low and change up in gears before the engine is under strain. Gradually getting up to speed is often just as quick as accelerating fast as you can plan ahead more efficiently and avoid braking.
We all know to avoid motorway service stations as they can cost an arm and a leg for petrol but there are also significant price differences in your local petrol stations too. It's best to be aware of when you’re are getting a good deal and when you need to wait for the next opportunity. The RAC have a handy Fuel Watch page that will inform you of the average UK prices and a likely forecast of what will happen to prices that you can find here: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/fuel-watch/.
Many people believe that it is more cost effective to refuel when it is cold as the fuel is denser. Unfortunately this is not the case, as fuel pumps measure by volume and the overall difference is very small, which means the savings are small too.
Topping your car up after the clunk to get the most out of your tank can actually be doing serious damage to your vehicle, having detrimental effects to other components.
Unless your car is specifically using start-stop technology then it can take a considerable amount of fuel to get it going. Therefore switching your engine off and back on again for a short wait can cost you. In these cases it's better to leave it ticking over. That said, if you're going to be waiting for a couple of minutes or more, it'll be worth switching your car off.