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  • 11 March 2016

    Life Hacks: How to Save Money on Petrol

    Fuel consumption is a hot topic amongst drivers, therefore we have created a list of tips and tricks which could help you save money on petrol.

    Whatever car you are driving, old or new, there are always things you can do to save money and reduce your car’s fuel consumption. You could save money by following our advice listed below:

    Maintenance


    • Regular maintenance is key to keeping your car healthy and maintaining engine efficiency, therefore we recommend booking your car in for a service regularly. You can find more about the current Howards servicing offers here.

    • Pump up your tyres to the recommended pressures found in your car’s manual. An estimated 50% of the tyres on the road today are under-inflated, increasing surface resistance and fuel consumption. Check your tyres regularly; if you don’t have a pump at home you can use the air pump at your local garage to fill them up.

    • Different oils can be used in different engines. Make sure you’re using the right specification of oil, which can be found in your vehicle’s handbook.

    Prepare for your journey


    • Only take necessary luggage, extra weight in the car will subsequently use extra fuel. Remove roof racks or boxes attached to your car when they are not in use to make the car more streamline which will reduce wind resistance.

    • Don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go as waiting idle with the engine on wastes fuel. In winter, it is advised for you to scrape ice instead of waiting for the car to warm up and the engine warms up quicker when the car is on the move.

    • Plan your journey ahead; getting lost is not only very frustrating but it also clocks up more mileage than you will have intended. In a congested area, looking for a parking space at peak times can be difficult therefore it’s always best to plan to park during off-peak times.

    • If you can, try to combine small trips as cold starts use up more fuel, for example pick up the kids at the same time as dropping off the post or picking up the paper.

    • Calculate small journeys and ask yourself could you walk it or cycle there rather than taking the car?

    Eco-Driving Tips


    You may be asking ‘what is eco-driving?’. RAC’s comprehensive definition of the term will surely answer that:

    “Eco-driving is a set of steps, techniques and behaviours that drivers can employ in preparation of the vehicle before a journey, in planning the journey, in modifying driving style during the journey and in reviewing trip data after the journey, that can, taken together, lead to savings (at times, significant ones) in terms of fuel usage, trip cost, emissions of CO2 and other pollution, and levels of noise from vehicle use. These savings can be realised for relatively low cost compared to other kinds of efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of car use. In addition, trips made with eco-driving techniques can, in many cases, be linked to improved road safety; moreover, the use of such techniques does not increase journey times”. RAC Foundation.

    Eco-Driving is a proven tactic! Fifty AA employees took part in a study with Auto Express Magazine and saved on average 10% on their weekly fuel bills with the best achieving a whopping 33% saving!

    Drive smoothly


    The trick is to not be too frantic behind the wheel, which can be difficult especially in a rush. Try to maintain a good distance between you and the car in-front to avoid last-minute braking. Don’t accelerate too harshly and get up to speed as smooth as possible. While braking, only change down a gear when the engine speed falls below 1,500rpm.

    Car Tachometer at low revs

    Skip some gears


    While travelling downhill, decelerate smoothly and leave the car in gear as coasting in neutral reduces driver control. Skipping gears will reduce wear and tear on your transmission, however this only should be used when conditions allow. For example if you enter a dual-carriageway try skipping from third to fifth and when slowing down avoid shifting through each gear in turn.

    Give the electronics a break


    Having the lights on, sound system blasting and demisters blowing can increase fuel consumption, so turn them off when you don’t need them. Cool off on the air conditioning; be sure to switch it off when the temperature in the car has reached a comfortable level.

    Keep a steady speed


    Avoid driving at excessive speeds by using limiters or cruise control – AA states “Driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.”

    Keep the momentum


    If the situation allows it, try to keep the car moving all the time as stopping and starting from stationary uses more fuel than rolling. This can be used when you approach roundabouts or junctions, check if the area is clear you can allow the car to roll in gear.

    There you have it folks! With these tips in mind you are guaranteed to save more money on fuel which in the long term could add up to large amount.

Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd's permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance mediation activities only.