Advice: Tips for Driving Efficiently

Driving efficiently is a topic that is frequently discussed, but what’s best for your car? Here’s a few facts to help you use less fuel when on the road and save some cash!

Maintenance

Have your car serviced regularly, this can keep it running smoothly, identifies any problems early on and reduce the risk of break downs. Servicing your car improves the efficiency of your engine and in turn decreases your fuel consumption.

Check tyre pressure, it’s particularly important to ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your owner’s manual. Underinflated and overinflated tyres can both affect the fuel consumption of a car, tyre pressure for each car varies depending on the load and number of passengers so you should always check your handbook.

Before you go

Think about how long your journey is. If it’s walkable and you aren’t under time pressure, taking a walk would be your best option to save fuel, it’s also good for you too! If your commute to work is close enough that you can cycle and there are provisions to keep your bike safe, cycling would be a great option to travel a little further and still reduce your fuel costs for the month.

Removing anything from your car that you don’t need will help reduce the amount of weight that your car is pulling along the road, the more weight in your car, the more fuel you will use. This includes any roof racks or boxes. When you don’t need something in or on your car you should always make a conscious effort to take it out or off before your journey.

Planning your journey and knowing exactly where you are going before you start will help save fuel, if you get lost and are driving around trying to find a location, you are burning fuel unnecessarily and this can be easily avoided by planning a route.

When you’re driving

Changing gear earlier and driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while staying within the speed limit is the biggest secret to achieving high mpg. Keeping the revs as low as possible and changing up a gear around 2000rpm is the best option.

Slow-down in anticipation and corner smoothly – don’t brake hard for corners and accelerate out of them. Instead, slow down gently, negotiate and exit corners on a light foot.

Don’t speed, fuel costs increase the faster you drive. Driving at 80mph can cost you up to 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph.

Corner smoothly, don’t brake hard for corners and accelerate out of them. Instead, slow down gently, negotiate and exit corners on a light foot.

Don’t idle, however, unless you’re going to be at a standstill for longer than three minutes or your engine’s warm, don’t switch off in an attempt to save fuel. Many cars are not fitted with a stop-start system which has up-rated components to make sure a car will only stop if it will start again.

Use aircon wisely, it’s more fuel-efficient to open the window overusing air-conditioning when driving. Aircon can increase your fuel consumption as much as 5%. Try to use it sparingly, it’s not as pleasant to open windows when travelling down the motorway, but if you are looking to reduce costs, this is an option.