Easy Fuel Saving Tips
The fuel price is notorious for changing on a whim, often fluctuating by as much as 5p in a month. This is really frustrating for motorists all over the UK but the good news is there are several simple fuel efficiency tips to follow..
To help vehicle owners save when filling up, we’ve come up with a comprehensive fuel efficiency guide for economical driving. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘hypermiling’ or eco-driving to help achieve a better ratio of miles to the gallon (mpg).
The Rising Fuel Costs In The UK
Did you know that the price of petrol in the UK is among the most expensive in the world? The reason for this is that retailers who buy crude oil on the global market face prices that fluctuate based on supply and demand. At the same time, exchange rates will also have an effect on rising fuel prices.
Interestingly, the cost of crude oil only accounts for 20p from £1 litre of fuel. The rest of the cost is made up mostly of taxes (PetrolPrices.com). The duty of UK fuel is 57.95p per litre which is also among the most expensive in the world. If that’s not bad enough, VAT still gets added as well which is currently at 20%.
So where does that leave you? For every £1 litre of fuel you buy, there is an added tax cost of about 75p. The remaining 5p goes to the retailer who needs to cover operating expenses while trying to make a profit as well.
How To Improve Your Fuel Efficiency
The government is unlikely going to reduce the fuel duty any time soon so instead of hoping that it happens, why not implement ways to use less fuel. While driving fast is undoubtedly a major contributing factor affecting fuel economy, it also depends heavily on driving habits. You’d be surprised what a significant impact it can have on how much you spend on petrol or diesel.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
It’s no secret that when your vehicle operates the way it should that it will use less fuel. That is why regular maintenance and servicing appear at the top of our list. This also extends to ensuring the correct tyre pressure according to your owner’s manual among others.
Remember, underinflated or overinflated tyres can adversely affect your overall fuel economy. Tyre pressure depends on the type of car, tyre and the load you are carrying. If you have passengers and a boot filled with luggage, you need to inflate to the maximum recommended level. Why not book a free wheel alignment check at Elite Garages to help you on your mission to for optimal fuel efficiency?
Don’t Speed And Choose The Right Gear
Excessive speed is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to fuel consumption so driving slower and accelerating gently makes a big difference. The secret to achieving better fuel efficiency is to drive in the highest possible gear while remaining within the legal speed limit. A great tip for driving in urban areas is to change gears as quickly as you can at the lowest possible revs, around 2000 rpm. Just as you burn more energy when running, your car uses more fuel when the engine spins faster.
Only Use Air Conditioning If You Have To
It’s been known that driving with the air conditioning on puts additional strain on the engine which means using more fuel. This is especially true when driving at low speeds but it has little to no effect while driving faster on motorways.
So unless it’s really cold or uncomfortably hot in the car, rather turn off the air conditioning. If you really have to keep it on, consider using the recirculate button as it cools the air already inside your car. This means that your car doesn’t need any additional power to cool the air coming in from outside.
Plan Your Trip Or Route
We always recommend that you plan your journey in terms of the best roads to take avoiding traffic and plan when need to refuel. This should help avoid the risk of driving on low fuel and stopping at any station to refuel at any cost.
You should also think about combining your journeys so instead of doing several short trips, rather make one round trip. When your engine is warm, it will operate at its peak performance compared to several cold starts that can lead to increased fuel consumption. This happens even if total mileage is the same so careful planning is essential.
Only Use Your Car’s Recommended Fuel
This ties in nicely with planning your route and knowing when you need to refuel. Always fill up with the best possible fuel as recommended by your owner’s manual for the best performance. Not only does this apply to fuel efficiency but also the overall condition of your engine and other components.
Super fuel, premium fuel or high-performance fuel is petrol with higher octane levels. Most standard fuels have a 95 octane rating but premium fuel generally has a rating of 98. It might seem like a small difference but it can make your engine work more efficiently. That said, not all cars use premium fuel as manufacturers test their vehicles to identify the most suitable fuel type. With that in mind, if your manual states ‘use normal unleaded fuel’ or another lower octane fuel, heed the warning and fill up accordingly.
Don’t Leave It Idling For Too Long
When your engine idles continuously, you can consume up to a gallon of fuel every hour. This equates to burning about 1.067 to 2.13 ounces of fuel every minute when idling, not mention all the carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. Of course, modern cars are more fuel efficient and you will likely burn less fuel if you simply turn off and restart your engine.
Does The Engine Stop/Start Function Really Work?
The simple answer is YES, it does. It really is a handy alternative on some modern cars than switching your engine off. Many modern cars have the engine stop/start system and it works like this:
When keeping your foot on the clutch while the vehicle is stationary, the engine will not shut off and continue to burn fuel. If you take your foot off while in neutral, the stop/start system will kick-in, saving you fuel and ultimately a few extra quid.
Only Use Recommended Car Oil
As we’ve already established, manufacturers test fuel types on cars but they also test which oil is best. This means they’ve done their homework and can confidently provide a list of recommendations so don’t ignore your car manual.
Reduce Excess Weight
It may not be the smoking gun of saving fuel but it does help if you remove excess weight from your car.
You can remove your roof rack when you are not using it and don’t drive around with random things in the boot.
Fuel Efficiency With Elite Garages
At Elite Garages, we offer the quality of dealership car servicing with greater value and no hidden costs. You and your family are in good hands with our experienced, friendly and knowledgeable staff. We are here to assist in expert car maintenance from full servicing of all makes and models, tyre maintenance, wheel alignment, batteries, MOT’s and more. Our competitive prices will certainly help you manage your budget better especially with the Elite Price Promise.
“If you find a genuine printed cheaper price for the same product which is in stock we will meet or beat this price at the time of purchase.”
If you’re looking for professional advice and friendly service, get in touch with a local branch near you. You can also join us on Facebook and become a valued member of our online community. At the same time, you’ll the first to know about special offers, promotions, car maintenance tips and the latest industry news.