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How to drive more economically

No matter what kind of car you drive, there’s always a way to save on fuel.

These handy tips will save you more at the fuel pump

These handy tips will save you more at the fuel pump

Are you always on the petrol station forecourt, watching the numbers scroll past as you fill up your car yet again? If you burn through fuel at a rate of knots, there are lots of things you can do to reduce your costs. Here are some simple fuel-saving driving tips to make your wallet – and the environment – a bit happier.

Slow down

Unless you’re driving to the hospital while someone is giving birth in the passenger seat, you don’t have to drive at 70mph every time you go on the motorway. Reduce your speed to 60mph on longer journeys and you could cut your fuel costs by 25%.

Think top gear

No, we don’t mean Jeremy Clarkson in a pair of slightly-too-tight snow-wash jeans. Try to drive in highest gear at the slowest speed – 55mph is a good figure to go for. Driving this way produces fewer revs and cuts your fuel consumption.

Feel the pressure

If your tyres aren’t at the correct pressure, chances are you’re burning fuel while you burn rubber. If a tyre is either under or over inflated by just one bar, it can add between 3 and 5% onto your fuel costs.

Clean out the boot

If your boot contains heavy objects, it’ll slow you down and the price at the pump will add up. In fact, every 50kg of extra weight you carry will add 2% to your fuel consumption. So remove those suitcases and lumps of concrete and you’ll feel the benefit.

Gently does it

Do you like to put your foot down and speed off into the sunset? Accelerate more smoothly and you’ll use less fuel. It might not be as exhilarating, but just imagine the adrenaline rush when you see your bank balance.

Do any city driving with half a tank

The more weight you carry, the more fuel you use. So if you’re just going to work, doing the school run or you’re off to the shops, there’s no need to drive laden down with a full tank.

Control your cruise control

Cruise control is great for saving fuel on the open road, but if you use it when you’re coming down a hill, your car won’t be able to react quickly enough to the change in gradient, and it will carry on adding power (and using fuel) when you don’t need it.

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

Driving up hills burns lots of fuel, so instead of tackling it like a Ninja Warrior running wildly towards the Wall of Death, accelerate before you reach it and ease off as you drive up it. Your momentum will carry you up the hill and save you money, too.

One trip does the trick

Instead of making lots of short trips, try to combine all your errands into one round trip. When your engine has warmed up, it will be more fuel efficient than if it’s starting from cold every time.

And if you still find you’re spending too much at the pump, it might be time to find a more fuel-efficient car…

About the Author

Lucy Sweet

Staff writer