How to save money on fuel costs
Whether you fill up the car once a month, once a week or - if you’re putting in some serious mileage - every day, you can’t fail to notice the fluctuations in the price of fuel at the forecourt. And while you may take your own lunch to work to cut back on your spending, how often do you consider ways in which you can slash your fuel bill? We’ve got some clever ways to make sure your driving is as economical as possible.
Maintenance is key
Look after your car and not only will it be less likely to break down, but it will also run more efficiently. It’s simple to check the tyre pressure and getting it right can improve fuel efficiencies.
So check your car’s manual for the correct pressure. A good deal of petrol stations have equipment to check the pressure on each tyre and to inflate it if necessary.
So check your car’s manual for the correct pressure. Many petrol stations have equipment to check the pressure on each tyre and to inflate it if necessary.
Adjust your driving style
Being a speed demon will ensure your car burns a lot of fuel quickly, so keep your speed steady. Experts also agree that moving into a top gear as quickly as possible and avoiding excessive acceleration will also minimise fuel wastage. Try to read the road ahead so you can brake or speed up more slowly to save those pennies.
Lose the excess weight
If you want to save, then put your car on a diet. Remove any unnecessary weight from the car to lighten the load and reduce drag. This could include roof bars, roof boxes or items in the boot that aren’t needed. If you drive at 75mph with an empty roof rack, the Energy Saving trust estimates you’ll add 16% drag, while a roof box will add 39%. This extra drag will affect your fuel efficiency.
Dress For the weather
If it’s cold, wrap up, and if it’s hot, then ditch the layers. This isn’t about looking good, but about avoiding adding additional strain on the fuel tank. Using the air con or the heating in the car will increase fuel costs. Likewise, having a window open will increase drag, so the best plan is to dress appropriately for the weather to avoid having to artificially adjust the temperature in the car.
Plan your journeys
Your car will be far more fuel efficient if you plan your trips carefully. A warmed-up car will operate at its most fuel efficient compared to a cold car. So rather than popping to the Post Office in your lunch break, why not stop on the way to or from work, to avoid having to start the car from cold. If you have multiple errands, try to do them all in one journey.
Map your refuels
Finally, use an App to locate the cheapest fuel in your area. You may find that it’s cheaper to fill up at that petrol station round the corner from your workplace, than using the one at the end of your road. That’s not to say you should fill up somewhere cheap - which would defeat the object in the first place - but keep an eye on the fuel tank and fill up as cheaply as you can, even if you’re only half empty.