10 top tips to improve fuel efficiency
Unfortunately, the cost of motoring is going only one way – up. While we can’t do anything about the price of fuel, we can offer you a few tips on how to increase your car's fuel economy.
You don’t need to be a professional driver to be more fuel efficient. Follow these 10 handy tips to improve efficiency and get the best mpg from your car.
Fuel tip no 1
Remove excess weight. Take unnecessary bulky items out of the car, such as that shovel you put in the boot to clear snow in winter. Also, if the kids are staying at home, so can their buggy.
Fuel tip no 2
Remove external carrying kit such as roof boxes or bike racks whenever they aren’t being used. The car has to work harder to cut through the air due to the extra wind resistance such things create.
Fuel tip no 3
Keep your car well maintained. Pump up your tyres to reduce resistance and get the car serviced regularly to keep everything moving smoothly under the bonnet.
Fuel tip no 4
Plan your journey. Avoid traffic black spots and busy times if possible, and get the map or sat-nav out to avoid getting lost and driving farther than necessary.
Fuel tip no 5
Unless it’s really cold or uncomfortably warm in the car, leave the air-con turned off. Using it can put a strain on the engine and burn more fuel, especially at low speeds. The same goes for heated windscreens, demisters and other electrical appliances.
Fuel tip no 6
Be gentle and change gear early. Accelerate and brake gently, and change to a higher gear as soon as possible. As a general guide, change up before 2000rpm in a diesel and 2500rpm in a petrol, without letting the engine struggle at low revs.
Fuel tip no 7
Lots of modern cars come with engine stop-start, which can be great if you let it work properly. Sit with your foot on the clutch and the engine will continue to burn fuel; take it off and you’ll save money and fuel.
Fuel tip no 8
Stick to the speed limits. What Car? research shows that doing 80mph uses up to 25% more fuel than doing 70mph.
Fuel tip no 9
Use gravity to your advantage and build up momentum when going downhill to help you then get uphill, rather than accelerating more to get up the incline. The best way to do this is to read the road as if you were on a pushbike and accelerate accordingly.
Fuel tip no 10
Look far ahead while driving and keep moving where possible by anticipating obstacles. Easing off the throttle and keeping momentum is better than speeding up, braking and then starting all over again.