Top tips for saving on fuel

Many of us will be facing higher household energy bills in 2022. With petrol and diesel prices also reaching record highs, now is the ideal time to evaluate whether you’re over-spending at the pumps.

1. Monitor prices

Shop around for the lowest price — either by using an app with alerts, or by watching prices as you drive your usual routes. While the price difference in litres may be pennies, you could save 8-9% on each tank. Would you choose to pay £3,560 more than necessary on fuel? A 2019 EDF Energy survey suggested that the average driver will spend £56,000 on fuel during their lifetime. By consistently finding petrol that is even 6% cheaper than your usual forecourt rate, the average driver could save £3,560 in a lifetime.

2. Check tyre pressure

Regularly check that your tyres are inflated to the right pressure. Lower tyre pressure increases drag on a car, meaning you need more fuel. Overinflating your tyres will also use more fuel. To find the right pressure, refer to your user manual or find information either on a label on the inside of your car door or petrol cap.

3. Don’t wait until the tank is empty

Fill up while you have enough fuel in the tank to be picky about where you fill up. With enough fuel for 50+ miles, there’s no panic and you can fill up when you pass the cheapest petrol station.

4. Cashback payment cards

Consider using a cashback credit card. Cashback cards pay you each time you use the card. However, you won’t save anything if you are charged interest. Therefore, it’s important that you set up a direct debit to repay the card in full each month.

Use a loyalty card only when the price makes sense to do so.

5. Lighten the load

  • Declutter your boot – extra weight means the engine must work harder and consequently uses more fuel.
  • Remove roof racks or roof boxes unless you use them regularly. As well as adding weight, they cause your car to be less aerodynamic.
  • Fuel is heavy, so by filling the car up you're adding quite a weight. If you have a good choice of petrol stations in your area, buying half a tank each time would save you money in the long-term.

6. Drive efficiently

  • Maintain the performance of your engine with regular servicing and by using the right type of oil.
  • Air-conditioning uses engine power and therefore fuel – so make sure it's turned off unless you really need it.
  • On long, flat roads, cruise control helps you save on fuel by maintaining a constant speed, thus removing unnecessary acceleration. But used regularly on roads that aren't flat, it will increase how much fuel you use because it's slower to react to changes in gradient.
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