As the price of petrol continues to rise, consumers are feeling backed into a corner, with no choice but to pay a premium to fill their cars. But there are still a few easy and simple ways to start lowering your fuel costs – and the good news is you can start saving right away.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, driving more efficiently can save you up to 15% on your annual fuel bill. For the average UK driver, that equates to up to £350 every year. Driving more efficiently also tends to translate to driving more safely – so there really is nothing to lose in rethinking a few of your motoring habits.
Read on for a few simple tips to cut back on fuel and keep more pounds in your pocket.
Anticipate other drivers and situations and increase the space between you and the car in front. Excessive accelerating and braking guzzles fuel – so keep your ride smooth.
If you’re going downhill, let gravity take the brunt. Lift your foot off the accelerator and enjoy a fuel free ride, smoothly braking at the bottom of the hill.
Slow down. You’ve probably heard this one before, but seriously – slowing down can save you a packet. 45-50mph is generally the most fuel efficient speed and you’ll consume 18% more fuel whilst driving at 75mph compared to 60mph. And yes, sometimes you have to go fast – but bear in mind, driving at 85mph uses a whopping 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph – as well as putting you at risk of a nasty speeding fine. Stick to the speed limit and you’ll stay safe and save money.
Change gears earlier when you accelerate – the faster you move up gears, the lower your fuel consumption. Change smoothly and skip a gear if you can. If driving an automatic, accelerate gently.
Turn off your engine if you’re stationary for more than a minute and anticipate when this is going to happen. Just pulled up the junction as those lights that take forever to change turned red? Switch it off. Doing this a few times on the commute will soon add up.
You’ve heard it a million times – ditch the car. But have you ever really considered it? Cycling or walking just one day a week could save you over £200 every year – so imagine what you could save if you got into the habit of leaving the car every day. The considerable financial and health benefits of side-lining the car commute make it worth investing in a bike. And if you work far away, try walking or cycling part route and watch the pounds fall off your waistline and into your pocket.