Improving fuel efficiency is basically like getting free money. Sort of. If you’re not changing your standard of living but are saving money through some simple habits, we’d call that a massive win. Especially if your car is a bit of a petrol guzzler.
Here’s some tips which can help to improve your fuel consumption and save you some cash.
Is improving fuel efficiency actually possible?
Some people don’t really believe that by making small changes to your driving habits, you can dramatically improve fuel efficiency. But it’s true!
Remember that Top Gear episode where the trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May had to get from Switzerland to Blackpool on just one tank? If not, you should definitely settle in and watch it! You might not want to get as extreme as they did with their fuel-saving driving methods, but you can certainly economise and save money.
1. Your tyres can contribute to fuel efficiency
It’s a little-known fact that your tyre pressure can make a difference to the amount of fuel your car uses. There’s lots of science behind it but basically, the right tyre pressure means that there’s less friction between the wheels and the road.
Make sure you know the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure, and check your tyres weekly. Read our write up on why getting your car tyre pressure right is so important.
2. Speedsters use more fuel
If you didn’t already know about this, we’d be surprised. Driving fast will eat through your fuel much quicker than driving more slowly. Within reason, obviously. If you’re going at snail’s pace, your drive will take much longer and won’t save fuel.
Your car’s fuel efficiency sweet spot is normally somewhere between 50km/h and 80km/h depending on the model. Once you go over this, you can start to burn fuel at a faster rate.
3. Smooth driving = improved fuel efficiency
It’s not just about how fast you drive, it’s about how well you drive too. Making smooth gear changes, not accelerating too fast and not “kangarooing” around by stopping and starting very abruptly makes a big difference to your fuel efficiency. Maintaining a steady speed instead of braking and accelerating too much can save you a lot of fuel in the long run.
Making sure that you select the right gear is another big one too. Changing into a gear that’s too high or low will waste fuel. Be mindful of selecting third and then revving the engine like a mad person to pull away. Just because you were too lazy to go to second and then third.
We see you taking those expensive shortcuts. And we know it’s tempting. Maybe it’s time to change old habits so you can save money on motoring?
4. Idling is fuel consumption’s enemy
It makes total sense that leaving your engine idling is terrible for fuel consumption. You’re going absolutely nowhere, but your car is still burning petrol to stand in one place. When you’re parked and waiting or you’re in standstill traffic, turn your car off. If it gets hot, you can always get out of the car.
If you do have the budget, you can seriously improve your fuel economy by buying a car which automatically turns off when you come to a stop and turns on again when you pull away. Especially if you do a lot of city driving.
Automatic engine shutdown and start up is an amazing piece of tech, but can be pricey. If that’s not within your budget, check out some simple (affordable!) car technology you should be using.
5. Reduce weight
We’re not saying you should go on a diet. But excess weight will decrease your car’s fuel efficiency. To improve it, you can get rid of dead weight. However, we’re not saying that you should refuse to drive your teenager anywhere. Again, tempting…
But clearing out the random clutter you keep in your car can make a difference. Kids’ hobby gear, books, toys, half of your gym wardrobe, car seats that you only use once in a while, a bulky roof pod you haven’t used in weeks… you get the idea.
And hey, one day when we’re all driving around in a car powered by whiskey, maybe fuel consumption won’t matter! For now though, hopefully these tips will help your fuel go further.
Do you need car insurance?
If you’re wondering how to save money on your car, maybe it’s time to explore PD Insurance for your car insurance policy? Who knows, maybe you’ll save even more.
Improving fuel efficiency – over to you
Do you have some tips to help other drivers improve their fuel consumption? Let us know what’s worked for you in the comments.