fuel saving tips

5 Tips on How to Save Fuel

With Britain facing record high petrol and diesel prices, drivers are looking for ways to get more miles per gallon (MPG) and make fewer trips to expensive petrol stations. Many drivers are switching to battery electric vehicles ahead of 2035’s ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars and vans.

One in eight new cars bought in May 2022 were electric. Those driving a mild hybrid, self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid need not worry too much about rising fuel costs as they are able to travel further while consuming less fuel, while those driving fully electric vehicles need not worry at all!

Battery electric vehicles offer greater fuel economy, lower emissions (zero emissions if 100% electric), plus improved acceleration. However, for those not yet ready to go electric, here are some helpful tips to help you drive more efficiently and slow down fuel consumption, saving you money each month on running costs.

Tip 1: Avoid idling

When your car is running but not moving, you’re getting 0 miles per gallon and pumping more emissions into your atmosphere. If you find yourself stationary on a public road, simply switch off your engine. Idling for just 30 seconds wastes more fuel than switching off and restarting your engine, plus it produces twice as much pollution which is known to have a negative impact on your health.

Many stop-start systems found in newer cars help to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by switching off the engine automatically when it detects that the vehicle is stationary. If you’re thinking of upgrading your vehicle, be sure to ask about this helpful feature.

Tip 2: Watch your speed

Every time you brake and then accelerate again, you are using more fuel. Driving within the speed limit gives you more time to react to what’s going on ahead of you, which not only improves road safety but also reduces heavy braking and accelerating to get going again.

Driving at high speeds or having high revolutions per minute (RPM) naturally uses more fuel. To drive more economically and achieve more miles per gallon, try driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit. Many new cars will have a gear-shift indicator which tells you when you need to change gear, so you aren’t overworking the engine.

Some vehicles are also equipped with Cruise Control which keeps the vehicle travelling at a constant speed on flat surfaces. Controlling the acceleration reduces strain on the engine which could affect performance and make it less efficient.

Tip 3: Lighten the load

Roof bars and roof boxes can have a big effect on your car’s aerodynamics. According to the Energy Saving Trust, an empty roof rack adds 16% more drag when driving at 75mph and a roof box adds 39%, making your vehicle much less fuel efficient. If you are not using these car accessories on your journey, remember to remove them.

Open windows at high speeds create wind resistance, causing you to lose fuel efficiency through unnecessary drag too. If you’re travelling on motorways or over 35mph, keep those windows closed.

For every 100 pounds of weight in the vehicle, your car’s fuel economy decreases by 1% – 2%. Make sure your vehicle remains as light as possible and you will be able to travel that little bit further before your next visit to the petrol station.

Tip 4: Vehicle maintenance

Regular maintenance and servicing help keep your vehicle performing at its best.

Before you set off on your journey, make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your car owner’s manual as improperly inflated tyres can reduce your car’s fuel economy by up to 5%! Your local petrol station will likely have an air pump that you can use, while a pressure gauge is an inexpensive gadget that you can use at home.

Keeping up with regular servicing and maintenance may seem like a hassle, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run. Poor tyre conditions, clogged air filters, old spark plugs or fuel injection system problems could affect your car’s performance and can be fixed easily or replaced during a service.

Click here for more information or to book a service at one of our dealerships in England.

Tip 5: Choose a greener car

There are many mild hybrid (MHEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fully electric vehicles (EVs) on the market today. These vehicles have been designed to provide a comfortable, safe, and more efficient driving experience.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) produce fewer emissions which makes them better for the environment, plus they also have lower maintenance and running costs than an internal combustion engine (ICE) because they have fewer moving parts. There are many more benefits, including tax advantages if they are taken as a company car, lower or no congestion charges, government grants, and free parking bays for electric vehicles in some towns and cities.

Click here to learn more about hybrid and electric vehicles.

Tip 6: Air Con Recirculation Button

You could be saving money on fuel by pressing a little-known air con button that changes the way the system works. Using air con, especially during a heatwave, can increase a car’s fuel consumption, this is because it uses plenty of engine power during the heat.

Thankfully, there is a way to use the air con and reduce fuel consumption at the same time.

Air con systems usually work by taking the outside air and then heating or cooling it. However, drivers have been told that this method uses much more fuel compared to the option which lets the car’s air-con system use the air from inside the car. Once activated, the button allows the aircon to use the air from inside the car by drawing it through vents.

And, at the same time, it stops the outside air from getting in.

The button shown in the image is usually located around the aircon dial that allows the driver to set the internal temperature.

Using the button will help reduce fuel consumption as it puts less strain on the car’s engine.

The principle is the same for electric cars as the aircon will put less strain on the battery.

Thinking of buying a new or used vehicle?

We can help you find a reliable vehicle that is cheaper to run, performs better, and is equipped with the latest technologies to help you drive more comfortably and safely. You can browse through hundreds of late-model, low-mileage used vehicles online – in stock and available for immediate delivery - or enquire about a brand-new Ford, Kia or Mazda. If you want to get a feel for electric, you can also book a test drive.

Click here to find your nearest dealership and book an appointment with one of our Sales specialists to discuss your requirements.