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With the cost of living on the rise, a key cost for many households is the cost of fuel. There isn’t much you can do about the price of fuel, but there are ways you can use the fuel you buy more efficiently. If you want to save fuel, check out our 7 hacks below!
How can I save Fuel?
1. Reduce your car’s weight
The heavier your car is, the more fuel is consuming. A lot of us might use our car as a bit of a dumping ground for things we don’t need immediately. By having a clear out, you can reduce the overall weight your car needs to propel up the road. This could be small things like rubbish and clothes or larger things like removing a roof rack when it’s not being used. Speaking of roof racks, one study found having a roof rack on your car may be costing you as much as 25 percent more in fuel! So, it’s worth thinking if it’s something you really need on your journey.
2. Drive more smoothly
Speeding up and breaking suddenly uses a lot more fuel than driving smoothly. When you accelerate and need to pull away from being fully stopped, your car needs to use more fuel to do this.
Using the highest gear possible in each situation is also a good way to reduce fuel consumption.
If this is something you really want to work on, there are even driving courses available, designed to help drivers reduce their emissions and fuel consumption. You could also google the term ‘hypermiling’, which is the art of driving while using as little fuel as possible, for some more tips.
3. Vehicle Maintenance
A well-maintained vehicle tends to use fuel more efficiently. Which is why it’s important to keep your car in good condition, including regular services and tyre checks. It’s also important to acknowledge and act on warning lights on your dashboard.
Inflating your tyres to the correct pressure reduces the surface area in contact with the road, therefore reducing the drag on the vehicle, saving fuel.
For more information check out our guide to car maintenance.
4. Reduce the use of temperature control
Using aircon and heating in a car can consume fuel, as they use engine power to run. Try to use these only when you really need to – this might mean wearing an extra layer for your journeys.
Opening windows also increases vehicle drag, contributing to fuel consumption. Try to keep them closed as much as possible. This is easier going into the winter months!
5. Stop coasting!
Holding your foot down on the clutch, or coasting, is often used by drivers who believe it will reduce their fuel consumption. However, this a driving myth. Not only does this not save fuel but it also reduces your control of your vehicle, making it a dangerous driving technique.
6. Use stop/start
If your vehicle is fitted with a stop/start system, make sure it is switched on. This means when your vehicle is stationary and in neutral with your foot off the clutch the engine will temporarily switch off. To activate the engine all you do is place your foot back on the clutch, making it easy to set off again.
The use of stop/start helps to reducing idling (running the engine while the vehicle is stopped).
7. Reduce your speed
Not only is it the law to stick to the speed limit but it also helps to reduce fuel consumption. Figures from the Department of Transport found that driving at 80mph on the motorway uses 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph. Driving at 70mph instead of 60mph in an open speed limit zone uses 9% more fuel . Reducing your journey speed will only increase your journey time by a few minutes and can make your journey a lot safer.
If you’re looking to save money on bills this winter, check out our guide on How to get help with your energy bills
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