The price of petrol and diesel in the UK is one of the highest in the world thanks to the combined costs of crude oil, fuel duty, VAT, and retailers’ operating costs and profits.
Unfortunately, such costs have been made worse due to the rising cost of oil on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Figures from the RAC’s Fuel Watch show that rising pump prices in March 2022 were much higher than any other month on record. So, it comes to no surprise that fuel is one of the biggest issues facing motorists today.
No doubt you want to lower our overheads as much possible, to get the most out of every litre you buy – especially in our current climate.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide to economical driving - otherwise known as ‘hypermiling’ or eco-driving - to help you save money at the pumps and cut carbon emissions:
A car’s fuel efficiency rating is measured by its MPG (miles per gallon), but some cars are more fuel efficient than others. If you’re looking for a more fuel efficient vehicle, it’s handy to consider purchasing one with a lower MPG.
The best way to achieve an efficient MPG is driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit.
In urban areas drivers are advised to change up through the gears as quickly as they can with the lowest revs possible.
The speed you drive at has the greatest influence on fuel consumption. A simply change in driving habits could save you a bit of cash.
Keeping the car moving at the right speed is essential - while slowing down and having to accelerate again naturally uses more fuel.
The faster you drive the more fuel you use - so watch your speed and make sure you accelerate gently.
The best advice is to drive as smoothly as possible, gently using the steering, accelerator and brakes.
Try to remain in gear when slowing down as the fuel cut-off switch in a fuel injection engine is activated and hardly any fuel is used while braking.
Listen to the engine and strike a balance: avoid using excessive revs but also ensure the car isn’t labouring too much either.
Road conditions, other traffic and gradients often prevent you from reaching an optimal speed but cars are typically most efficient at 45-50mph.
Try to anticipate what’s going to happen in front of you by looking well ahead so you can keep moving rather than coming to a complete stop.
Pre-empting oncoming hazards is a good general driving habit - but keeping moving and not losing momentum also saves you cash.
Accelerate before a hill and then ease off as you drive up it as the extra momentum will help minimise fuel consumption.
Cruise control only aids fuel economy when driving on a constant flat surface, so it is usually best reserved for motorways – which are the most fuel-efficient roads in the county.
Roof racks and boxes cause your car to use more fuel through the ‘drag’ effect, and this gets worse the faster you drive. Driving with an open window has a similar effect.
Don’t use your air conditioning – or your heating - unless you really have to as it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption.
Consider making one round trip rather than several short trips. Once the engine is warm it will operate at its most efficient, whereas several cold starts will increase fuel consumption.
The heavier a vehicle is, the more fuel it will use, so it’s worth removing unnecessary items from your boot as they all add weight.
Keeping your tyres inflated to the correct pressure is important.
Regular maintenance and servicing will improve the efficiency of your vehicle and your fuel consumption as a result.
Finally, remember to shop around! You can use mobile apps such as PetrolPrices.com to compare the cost of fuel in your local area.