Let’s face it, getting around on four wheels isn’t cheap these days. As well as the cost of buying a car in the first place, you’ve got to shell out for insurance, tax, servicing, repairs and fuel. However, as long as you’re savvy, there are ways to save cash. By following these simple tips and checking out Money Advice Service you should be able to make your fuel go further.
Check your tyres
You might not realise it, but your tyres could be costing you cold, hard cash. Under-inflated tyres create added roll resistance and therefore increase your fuel consumption, so it’s a good idea to check the pressure regularly and before any long journeys. Consult your handbook to make sure you know the optimum pressure, and increase pressures for heavier loads as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
Make sure you have the right sort of tyres for the road and weather conditions too. Bear in mind that it’s now possible to purchase both all-season versions and winter tyres, which can help to improve the handling and control of cars in road conditions below seven degrees. If you think you could benefit from new versions but don’t want the hassle of travelling to a garage, you can take advantage of mobile tyre fitting specialists like Tyres On The Drive.
Switch off when stationary
Another way to boost fuel efficiency is to switch your engine off when you’re stationary and in neutral. Many newer vehicles do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, do it manually if you expect to be stopped for a minute or longer.
Be sure to drive smoothly too. Avoid sudden acceleration and braking where possible, and change up through the gears promptly. If you drive a diesel, move up to the next gear at around 2,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), and if you drive a petrol car, change up at approximately 2,500rpm.
Keep your speed in check
Driving more slowly can save you money as well. Bear in mind that travelling at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph. Meanwhile, cruising along at 80mph can cost you 25% more than travelling at 70mph (and it could set you back more still if you get a speeding ticket!).
Know when to use your air con
Air conditioning is a great way to increase your comfort in the car, but it’s important that you know best how to use it if you want to keep your fuel use down. If you’re driving at low speeds, open the windows instead of turning on your air con. However, if you’re travelling at 60mph or above, the air con will be more efficient.
Lighten your load
It’s also important to avoid carrying belongings you don’t need in your car. After all, excess weight will ramp up your fuel spending. On a related point, take off any roof racks or boxes when you’re not using them. This will reduce drag.
Plan your trips
Last but by no means least on this list, make sure you plan any unfamiliar trips to ensure you take the most direct route. Also, stay in touch with the traffic news. This will help you to keep your journey times – and your fuel spending – down.