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How to save money with economical driving

fuel-savings

We love saving you money here at Click On Tyres. So as well as great prices on tyres we want to give you some advice on how to save some money on your fuel bill and make your tank take you further. So have a read and learn about our top 20 tips for reducing your fuel bill and becoming a more economical driver.

We love saving you these!

We love saving you these!

1. Use the accelerator smoothly, avoid accelerating harshly or unnecessarily. Aggressive driving can increase fuel consumption by 35%. Take your foot off the accelerator as often as you can and let the momentum of the car do its bit. Going downhill with your foot off the accelerator can save you a lot of petrol and money!

2. Roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes are not great for the aerodynamics of your car and will reduce fuel efficiency. Make sure you take them off when they aren’t in use and also avoid driving with the windows or sunroof open when you can as this will also decrease your car’s aerodynamics.

How not to do aerodynamics!

How not to do aerodynamics!

3. Make sure you change into higher gears as often as you can, as is appropriate. Revving the engine in low gear will use large amounts of fuel. It is recommended that you change gear at around 2000rpm in a diesel car and 2500rpm in a petrol car to maximise efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

4. Drive at a steady speed in the highest gear possible. The best speed for efficiency is said to be between 45 and 50mph (don’t be doing that in a 30 zone though, or you’ll be getting fined!). Driving faster than this does increase your fuel consumption and cost you more money. According to the Department of Transport, driving at 70 mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60 mph and up to 15% more than at 50 mph.

5. If you know you will be stuck in traffic or idling for more than 1min then cut your engine to save fuel and also reduce your emissions.

6. Don’t be nipping down the road to the shops in your car if you could walk instead. Using your car for short journeys isn’t fuel or cost effective. Cold engines are not as efficient and your catalytic converter can take 6 miles or more to become effective. Walking is also a bit of exercise, which is apparently quite good for you!

Put your best foot forward to save money on short journeys.

Put your best foot forward to save on short journeys.

7. Keep a close eye on your tyre pressure. If your tyres are underinflated then they aren’t as effective, so can be dangerous and they also cost you more in fuel. According to TyrePal, tyres that are under inflated by 15 psi (1 bar) lead to 6% greater fuel consumption. That’s an increase of £150 every year on a fuel spend of £2,500 per year which is a great saving from just keeping an eye on your tyre pressure!

8. Don’t just sit there with the engine running, waiting for the car to warm up. This is massively inefficient and the engine will warm up much quicker when you are moving. If you have ice on the car, scrape it off before you get going instead of waiting for the car to heat up and melt it.

9. If you have it, use cruise control (when appropriate). It keeps the accelerator steady so you’re not varying your fuel intake and using more than you have to.

10. Try not to use any unnecessary electrics in the car. Keep both your windscreens squeaky clean so that they don’t mist up badly, forcing you to use the fuel hungry heater to de-mist them.

11. Make sure you plan your journeys in advance. Avoid routes you know will be congested if you can and avoid roadworks to minimise time spent idling. If you plan your route there’s less chance of you getting lost and wasting fuel driving around in circles or trying to find someone to ask for directions.

Plan your journeys to save time and fuel

Plan your journeys to save time and fuel

12. Make sure your car is serviced regularly. Manufacturers usually have guidelines on how often a car should be serviced so check your manual for their advice. This will help to maintain the engines efficiency and keep it running smoothly.

13. If you are travelling on a road with speed bumps, try to maintain a steady speed of around 15mph, so you can drive over them smoothly. If you are breaking then accelerating quickly before and after each bump then it will eat up fuel quickly and you will have a much smoother ride as well.

14. When you are approaching a roundabout or junction ease your foot off the accelerator and cruise to a stop, whilst the car is still in gear. This uses no fuel, whereas cruising to a stop in neutral uses fuel and can also be dangerous as you can’t accelerate or brake as quickly if there is an accident or hazard to avoid.

15. Don’t tailgate! As well as being dangerous and unnecessary it also means you will be constantly braking and accelerating quickly as you react to what the car in front is doing. This increases your fuel consumption and the constant braking will increase wear on your brake pads as well.

16. Avoid using your air conditioning for long periods of time as it will significantly increase the amount of fuel you use by up to 10%.  This is more important during city driving when you are more likely to be stopping and starting often. If you are travelling at higher more constant speeds then you won’t burn as much fuel, save your AC for motorways when having the windows open is noisy and reduces the aerodynamics of the car.

Avoid this to save £'s

Avoid this to save £’s

17. This is a bit of an extreme option and involves spending money before saving it but it will reduce running costs……buy a new car! Modern car engines are far less fuel hungry than older models. They are smaller, lighter and technology like direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation make them so much more efficient (around 23% more efficient than they were 10 years ago). You can read more about these bits of technology here

18. Shop around for your fuel. Prices vary from garage to garage, even within a few miles of each other, so it’ well worth looking for the cheapest one close to you. Also look at loyalty schemes which can earn you savings and vouchers.

Shop around to get the best price on fuel!

Shop around to get the best price on fuel!

19. Reduce the weight in your vehicle. Take out any unnecessary items from the boot or back seats. It all adds up and every extra 45kg can increase fuel consumption by 1-2%

20. Look at taking an eco-driving course. If you really want to get to grips with how best to save money and make your fuel go further you can take a course which will show you all you need to know to save £££’s on your yearly fuel bill. There’s an interesting article from someone who took one of the courses here and you can also read more about and book the courses here and here.

So there you have our top tips for becoming a more economical driver! Even if you only put a few of these into action you will notice a reduction in fuel costs and tyre wear, as well as the change in driving style being kinder to your car, engine and wallet in general. 

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