The cost of living has skyrocketed over the past two years, and with that has come a dramatic increase in the price of fuel. In 2019, the average cost of diesel per litre was £1.29, with petrol at £1.20 per litre. Over the last three years, it has risen to £1.74 for diesel and £1.60 for petrol. This increase adversely affects brits across the country, particularly the younger generation learning how to drive. The rise in petrol costs, combined with driving lesson fees, hefty insurance premiums and expensive second-hand cars, has been difficult to manage. Therefore, people are tightening their purse strings in an attempt to save money where they can.
It’s unlikely the cost of fuel will decrease significantly any time soon. Instead, we should focus on reducing the amount of fuel we consume when driving. This article is the ultimate guide to eco-driving, including top tips on how to save fuel to boost your miles per gallon (MPG).
Maintain Your Vehicle
We recommend having your car professionally serviced on a regular basis. Mechanics are experts in their profession and will recognise potential issues with your spark plugs, filters and engine oil levels that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. This way, you can run a more efficient engine and reduce your fuel consumption when driving.
A great tip on how to save fuel when driving is to perform regular tyre checks. Underinflated or overinflated tyres will negatively affect fuel economy. Therefore, it’s particularly important to identify the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle – indicated in the owner’s manual – and adjust the pressure accordingly.
Reduce the Load
Although it’s likely only to make a slight difference, removing unnecessary weight from your vehicle is an excellent tip on how to save fuel. Ultimately, the heavier your car, the more fuel it uses, and so removing items from your boot during long drives will positively impact your MPG figures and save you money.
Once your engine is warm, it will operate more efficiently. Therefore, we recommend planning your journeys ahead of time so you can combine them into one long journey rather than several shorter ones.
Monitor Your Acceleration
Driving erratically and using excessive speed will eat through your tank of fuel. Therefore, our top tip on how to save fuel while driving is to use the highest possible gear for your vehicle whilst maintaining the speed limit. The faster your engine spins, the more fuel it consumes, so try to change through your gears quickly using the lowest possible revs. As a general guide, revs should remain between 1500 and 2500rpm for a petrol engine and 1200 and 2000rpm for a diesel engine.
Your driving instructor will help you form good habits for gear changing when learning to drive, so it’s just a case of maintaining what you’ve been taught when you hit the road solo!
Read the Road
One of the best tips on how to save fuel is to remain alert when driving. Paying extra attention to the road ahead will not only increase your road safety but will also reduce the risk of sudden braking. Braking wastes energy so when possible, coast (leaving the vehicle in gear) up to traffic lights, stop signs, turnings and roundabouts.
Switch Off the Air Conditioning
It can be tempting to keep the air conditioning (AC) on all year round to deal with the unpredictability of British weather. However, AC uses engine power and therefore consumes fuel, so try to turn it on during extreme temperatures only.
Fill Up at The Supermarket
When you do need to fill up your tank, we recommend using major supermarkets to save on fuel costs. Typically, supermarket petrol stations are slightly cheaper compared to oil-company-owned petrol stations. Although these savings are unlikely to be large in the short term, if you always opt for these fill-up locations, those savings will soon add up.