March 19, 2021
As the country begins to open up again, we’re able to get back out on the roads and drive for more than small essential journeys.
We know that many drivers have been using their vehicles little if at all compared to their previous usage and so have seen a drastic drop in their fuel bill. As we’re now allowed to travel more and further then fuel bills are inevitably going to rise but we’ve rounded up the most effective steps that you can take to improve your fuel economy and keep your fuel bill as low as possible after months of minimal driving.
Our Top 10 Tips for Better Fuel Economy
1. Avoid Idling
Whenever your engine is on it is using fuel, so when you’re idling you’re using fuel but not moving which instantly affects your fuel efficiency.
If you are in slow-moving traffic then you might want to consider applying the handbrake and turning your engine off if you are stopped for long periods of time.
A lot of modern cars now come with stop-start technology where they automatically turn the engine off if certain conditions are met while stopped, usually applying the handbrake and out of gear. If your vehicle has this technology then utilising it will give you better fuel economy.
We also recommend turning the engine off if you are parked but remaining inside the vehicle for a period of time, for example, if you are picking someone up and waiting for them to come out.
2. Stick to the Speed Limit
Speeding can have a huge impact on your fuel usage.
Not only do we recommend sticking to the speed limit for your and other road users’ safety but also to help improve your fuel economy.
If your vehicle has cruise control then we recommend using this on motorways and other straight, fast-moving roads to ensure you maintain a consistent and safe speed.
Maintaining a steady speed not only helps you increase fuel economy because you’re not travelling at high speeds but additionally because you will not be accelerating.
3. Weight of Vehicle
The weight of your vehicle will affect your fuel efficiency.
The heavier it is the more fuel it will use to transport your vehicle over the same distance over the same speed.
We recommend reducing the weight of the vehicle where possible. This might be a case of removing roof boxes, bicycle racks and roof racks when not in use. Alternatively, it could mean regularly clearing out unnecessary cargo from the vehicle.
4. Smooth Acceleration and Braking
We briefly mentioned acceleration above but think it’s such a key point that it deserved expanding on.
Harsh acceleration as well as harsh braking requires a lot of power from your engine and uses more fuel than if you were to accelerate and brake more smoothly.
In order to do this you need to think ahead, anticipating how the traffic speed might change if there are upcoming traffic lights or a junction.
5. Combine Your Journeys
A hot engine is more efficient, as the battery and other elements of the engine work better when hot.
Because of this we recommend rather than taking several small trips over the course of a day, that if you are able to you combine these into one round trip with several stops to maintain a warm engine temperature and so improve your fuel efficiency.
6. Maintain Your Vehicle
Regular maintenance of your vehicle is essential for a number of reasons; to ensure it’s safe and roadworthy, to make sure any additional options are working correctly like sensors for driver assistance systems, and to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible for you.
Servicing the vehicle in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as ensuring any necessary maintenance work is completed as soon after the issue arises will help with a number of factors including your fuel efficiency.
7. Check Your Tyre Pressure
Low tyre pressure can have a big impact on your fuel efficiency and so we recommend regularly checking your tyre pressure, especially before a long journey.
Low tyre pressure can be difficult to spot without the use of a tyre pressure gauge as unless it is massively low it will not be obvious visually.
8. Shut the Windows
It’s well known that the more aerodynamic your vehicle is the better the fuel economy.
Having the window open increases drag on your vehicle making it less aerodynamic than if the windows were closed, which in turn means that your fuel economy is affected. This is especially true if you are travelling at high speeds.
9. Turn Off Your Air Conditioning
Using your air condition and heating uses engine power and so using them consistently and on a high force then this will affect your fuel efficiency.
We recommend only using these when needed and if it’s a choice between the air conditioning and opening a window go with the air conditioning as this has less of an impact.
10. Don’t Drive
An obvious way to decrease your fuel bill is not to drive.
This might sound counter-intuitive for a blog that’s all about fuel efficiency but by only driving when you need to you can help to reduce your fuel bill massively.
Keep an eye on our news homepage for more helpful articles.