If you looked into the rear-view mirror and saw money shooting out of your exhaust rather than car fumes, would you drive differently? Knowing how to save fuel can save you hundreds of pounds a year, reduce vehicle wear and tear, and cut emissions by a sizeable amount. Convinced? Let’s go through the best driving tips, advice and FAQs on how to save fuel while driving so your money stays in your wallet and not your fuel tank!
1. Stay in the highest gear possible. The faster an engine spins, the more fuel it burns. Generally, you should drive in the highest gear possible whilst being safe and without choking the engine.
2. Use air conditioning (AC) sparingly. Sometimes using the AC is unavoidable, but if there is an opportunity to do so, take it. Using AC can increase your fuel consumption by over 10%!
3. Avoid idling. If you find yourself stuck in a traffic queue for more than a minute, turn your engine off. Idling can use around 2L of fuel per hour! Try to plan your routes to avoid places where idling is likely.
4. Coast if it is safe. Coasting disconnects the engine and prevents further fuel consumption. You can coast down a hill to naturally gain momentum or coast to let your car naturally slow down due to friction. You should only ever coast if you are in control of your car.
5. Accelerate gently. A slow start goes a long way. If you constantly accelerate harshly, you could lower your mileage by up to 30%!
6. Don’t go too fast. Cars are most efficient within a certain speed range. Exceeding this range usually increases your fuel consumption dramatically. For most cars, driving at 75mph instead of 55mph can increase your fuel consumption by 20%!
1. Streamline your car. This means removing any attachments like roof racks, bicycles, and trailers. A streamlined car means less fuel is needed to propel it forward through the air.
2. Check tyre pressure. This should occur every month since underinflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%. You can find the values of your car's tyre pressures on the sill of the driver’s door or the inside of the fuel cap.
3. Conduct regular maintenance. It’s in the heading! Regular servicing improves the efficiency of your car, so less fuel will be consumed.
4. Use a fuel-efficient car. Sometimes your car will be downright inefficient. If you have another car that is a better runner, it might be worth getting into the habit of taking that instead. Out of options? Our used car stock will have something for you.
1. Combine Journeys. A warm engine is more efficient than a cold engine. If you have the chance to kill two birds with one stone by combining two journeys into one, go for it.
2. Bargain hunt. With a little searching, there might be a cheaper station around the corner, and you will end up saving a good portion of money in the long run with this habit. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps and websites online which do the hard searching work for you!
3. Think lightweight. If there are any dormant items in your car that you never end up using, put them somewhere else! A heavier car takes more fuel to move the mass, so try and think light whenever you can!
4. Drive smart in the winter. Try and park in the sun on cold days so that the ice on your car melts and you don’t need to use the AC. Alternatively, you can park in a garage or an enclosed, warmer space.
5. Drive smart in the summer. Try and park in the shade so you won’t need to use the AC to cool the cabin down. Similarly, try and roll down the windows when driving in the summer to cool down. If you aren’t driving over 40MPH, the aerodynamic drag won’t affect your fuel consumption that much!
6. Consider alternative methods. This may not be entirely convenient for some, but the best way how to save fuel on long trips, short trips, or daily commutes is to simply not drive! Check whether public transportation, car-pooling, or cycling can fit into your schedule.
Does cruise control use more fuel?
Cruise control doesn’t work particularly well on hilly or manoeuvrable roads. This is because it continues to use the accelerator for longer than you would manually. This means that more fuel is going to be consumed.
Cruise control works particularly well on flat surfaces. This is because it maintains the car at a constant speed and removes any accidental or excess acceleration. Cruise control is great on motorways since it keeps the car in high gear at a constant speed for long distances on a flat surface. This can save over 10% of your fuel!
How can you save fuel in an Automatic?
What you need to know about how to save fuel in an automatic car is that they tend to stay in lower gears than needed, which is less efficient than higher gears. Try and make the automatic transmission shift to high gear by taking your foot off the accelerator at higher speeds.
How can you save fuel in a hybrid?
Most hybrids have an ‘ECO’ mode which gives you more mileage bang for your buck. They also have regenerative braking, which charges your battery and makes the car run for longer. Selecting the recirculating mode on the AC can make your system more efficient too.
Does Stop/Start save fuel?
Certainly. Stop/Start technology works by cutting the fuel and ignition the engine when the car is stationary. This is perfect for traffic and idling situations. Studies have found that stop/start technology can show a 7% improvement in fuel economy!
Any other advice?
Modern vehicles and even some older vehicles are packed full of technology that monitors fuel consumption. Some even tell you how much fuel your daily driving habits use and how many miles you have left until the next fuel station. There is also an abundance of fuel-saving apps you can download on your phone to connect to your car. Make the most of the tools around you!
After going through this informative guide, you might be realising how much extra money you can save with a different car such as a hybrid or more technological diesel. If you need help deciding, check out our blog post on the cheapest cars to run in 2023 here.
Our stock has an extensive array of fuel-efficient cars that will get your monthly expenses down tremendously! An EV might also suit your lifestyle by completely removing fuel expenses altogether - you can browse them here.