Fuel prices are at record highs throughout the UK. But there are ways you can save money, including by adapting your driving style. Here’s how…
Think about Aerodynamics
We know, this sounds a bit elaborate. But how aerodynamic your car is has a considerable impact on the amount of fuel you burn through; and therefore how much money you’ll be spending.
In essence, the more aerodynamic your vehicle is, the less hard the engine will have to work against air resistance. Some of this is out of your control, such as the design of the vehicle. But some things, such as leaving a roof rack attached to your vehicle when you don’t need it, or driving at speed with the windows down, are easily avoidable.
Keep things as Light as Possible
Much like aerodynamics, the weight of your vehicle has a big impact on the how hard the engine has to work. We’re not saying that you should become asocial, dispensing with your passengers. However, you can think about removing things that simply don’t need to be left in your car.
Sport or gym equipment, tools of the trade or simply rubbish can all needlessly add to a vehicle’s weight. If it’s not in use, store it somewhere else.
Stick to the Speed Limit
Breaking the speed limit might save you a little bit of time, but it’ll see you waste a lot of money; in addition to exposing yourself, and other road-users, to danger. Studies have shown that driving at 80 mph on a motorway has a very minor effect on reducing total journey time. However, it has a noticeable impact on fuel consumption.
You should always stick to the speed limit, but the case is even stronger if you’re trying to save money.
Avoid harsh Acceleration
Needless acceleration has a lot of negatives. It’ll expose your car’s components to needless wear and tear, you may lose some control of your vehicle and it’ll burn away at your fuel reserves. As a general rule, keep things smooth and considered if you want to maximise your fuel economy.
Think about Gear Changes
Ultimately, driving in the highest gear possible within the speed limit will improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Things are even better when you advance quickly through the gears with as little acceleration as is possible. After all, the faster an engine spins, the more fuel it’ll be using.
Don’t idle your Engine
Engine idling is probably one the most obvious ways a driver can needlessly waste their fuel and their money; as well as posing a serious health and environmental risk. Engine idling consists of leaving a vehicle’s engine running whilst it’s idle for an extended period of time. It burns through fuel, whilst releasing harmful fumes in a concentrated area.
Be considerate, turn your engine off when your vehicle is sat idle for any significant length of time.
Anticipate and Plan ahead
Anticipating and proper planning, whilst you’re on the road, are vital if you want to cut back at the money you fork out at the pumps. Things like braking, or constantly changing speeds, can have a big impact. So, by looking ahead and preparing yourself, you can make judgements that could help you avoid needless braking or gear changes (and safely).
Combine Journeys, or Eliminate them
If you’ve got a few journeys to make, it makes sense to get through them at the same time. Assuming saving money on fuel is a priority. This is because a warmer engine is more efficient than a cooler one. Longer journeys, then, are less demanding than shorter one.
In addition to combining journeys, consider whether you can eliminate some entirely. Sometimes, walking or public transport is the more sensible option.
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