How to Cut your Petrol Costs this Summer

| June 28, 2017

Logically, opting for the cheapest petrol (and diesel) is the simplest way to reduce your fuel costs but here are a few more tips on how to get more mileage from your tank this summer from ditching the excess weight in your backseats to regularly checking the pressure of your tyres.

Switch off your air con

Our first point may not be exactly what you want to hear as the warm weather approaches but switching off your air con and rolling down your window instead can actually reduce your fuel consumption by a staggering 25% according to the National Energy Foundation.

Of course, if you’re travelling at speeds higher than 60mph, air con will be the safest option.

Check your tyres

Making sure your tyres are at the correct pressure every two weeks or so can help, too. A drop in tyre pressure of as little as 0.4 bar (six PSI) can increase the amount of fuel your car consumes by as high as 20%, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to carry out these checks. If you’re unsure about what your car’s tyre pressure should be, check your manual.

Ditch any excess weight

petrol costsBy this, we mean getting rid of any unnecessary items of luggage you have in the back of your car or a roof rack that will be weighing it down.

The heavier your car, the more it struggles to work, and it may not seem like a lot, but an extra 25kg can increase fuel consumption by 1%. Think about this every time you’re using your car, and it will soon add up.

Drive slower

No, it’s not a myth, driving slower can actually reduce the amount of fuel that your car consumes and according to the AA, dropping from 80mph to 70mph on a motorway or dual carriageway can save you as much as 25%.

On smaller roads, a 10mph decrease can save a further 10%. So, not only is it safe to watch your speed but good for your bank balance too.

Service your vehicle

Making sure your vehicle is regularly serviced will check that your engine is working correctly and most efficiently, ultimately decreasing your fuel consumption.

This will also ensure that you’re using the correct engine oil, something that can also affect fuel economy. If you own your own business, regularly servicing your company vehicles is essential and public liability insurance can often cover the cost of any repairs that need to be carried out as a result of a workplace accident.

Mind your accelerator

If you have an automatic gearbox, then this shouldn’t be a problem but for manual vehicles, pushing your accelerator down a long way to avoid changing into a lower gear can actually result in you using more fuel.

You should also always aim to accelerate smoothly so that you can travel at a consistent speed. The simple fact is if you’re a patient driver, you’ll tend to have lower fuel bills.

Avoid rush hour traffic

Long traffic queues don’t only soak up our precious time, but they actually soak up our fuel too. Every time you have to stop and change into first gear, your car needs a huge amount of fuel to get going again.

We know that travelling during rush hour is often essential but to decrease your fuel consumption, understand what the traffic in front of you is doing and travel steadily rather than having to accelerate and brake.

Invest in a hybrid car

A hybrid car is more fuel efficient because it has two motors – an electric motor and a gasoline motor. These two motors, alongside lightweight materials, sturdier tyres, improved aerodynamics and a smaller fuel tank all make hybrid cars one of the best ways to cut the cost of the amount of fuel you’ll be topping up with.

Keep your windows closed

When your car is moving at high speeds, its shape is very important. This is why one of the main challenges for car designers is to make their vehicles as sleek as possible, to cater to aerodynamics.

Having your windows open will increase the ‘drag’, forcing your car to work harder and making it more expensive to run.

Make fewer trips in the car

Our last point is a definite no brainer, but there’s some science behind it. When you drive a car that has been stationary for a few hours or so, the engine will be cold and will use much more fuel in the first few miles.

By combining all of your little trips into one trip, you’ll be saving fuel (and maybe some time, too),

Try some, or even all of these tips and you should see your fuel intake decrease and therefore your overall costs cut.

Of course, if you’re feeling particularly thrifty you could always ditch your car altogether and hop on your bike!



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Category: Automotive, Saving Money

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