Fuel can be expensive, but a few small changes in the way we prepare our vehicles and plan our journeys can make a big difference in our fuel consumption.
Follow the tips of IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving & Riding standards, Richard Gladman, and you will soon start saving money!
- Try to keep your driving smooth. Gentle acceleration and using the highest safe gear will use less fuel. Ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they are red – why hurry up to wait?
- Try to avoid driving during heavy traffic. Stopping and starting in traffic requires the use of the first gear and a lot fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again.
- Keep your tyres well maintained by checking the condition, pressures and tread depth. When choosing new tyres, it’s worth having a look at ones which are designed for extra economy.
- Get rid of unnecessary weight. Cars work like the human body – it takes more energy to carry more weight and so does your car. Take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need them. A roof rack or roof box will increase drag and make you use more fuel, so remove it if it’s not being used.
- Nowadays, you don’t need to manually warm up a car, so once your windows are clear (a bit of elbow grease will sort them out) you can to set off without having to wait around.
- When your engine is trying to warm up in winter, it uses more fuel for the first four miles or so. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60% more pollution than a warm engine – so avoid these short journeys where possible.
- Turn off the air-conditioning as this uses extra fuel. When the rear window is cleared, turn off the rear screen heater – the more electricity your car has to produce, the more fuel it will use.
- Keep your speed low as you can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. Try pressing more lightly on the accelerator, often you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal.
“Sound observation and planning on our necessary journeys will help. Remember that safety and fuel saving can be complementary if we drive effectively,” Richard Gladman concluded.