Making your car more fuel efficient to tackle the rising fuel costs

With the average price of both petrol and diesel once again hitting new record highs this month, rising to 152p/L and 155p/L respectively according to the RAC*, it’s more important than ever to save on filling up by buying in the right place. And, if you take steps to make your car more fuel efficient, you can cut costs further…

Take a look at these 6 simple tips to making your car more fuel efficient:

  • Keep your tyres inflated
    • Lower tyre pressures increase drag on a car, meaning you need more fuel. So regularly check the pressures are correct (overinflating your tyres will also use more fuel) and your car will need less oomph to keep it moving.
  • Declutter your car
    • The lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to accelerate. By clearing out junk from the boot and not carrying any unnecessary weight, you can save a little more money. Any extra weight you ride around with ups your fuel consumption – while lightening the load won’t make the biggest difference, every little helps towards keeping it down.
  • Take your roof rack off
    • A roof rack, even unused, adds wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and making the engine work harder. If you don’t need it, take it off, along with anything else inefficient. Even closing the windows and removing any flags will make the car run slightly more efficiently.
  • Turn off air-con at lower speeds
    • Air-conditioning uses engine power and therefore fuel – so make sure it’s turned off unless you really need it. The general consensus is it’s more efficient to drive with the windows down and the air-con off at lowerspeeds, but at higher speeds it’s better to use the air-con and keep windows up due to the extra drag caused by having windows down.
    • If you’re not using your air-con, it’s worth turning it on once in a while as not using it can mean it stops working.
  • Don’t fill it up with fuel
    • Fuel is heavy, so by filling the car up you’re adding quite a weight. The less fuel your car has in it, the more efficiently it drives. If you fill up slightly more often and put less in (to 1/2 or 3/4 full), it’ll make the car run more efficiently.
  • Save cruise control for motorways
    • On long, flat roads, cruise control helps you save on fuel by maintaining a constant speed, thus removing unnecessary acceleration. But used regularly on roads that aren’t flat, it will increase how much fuel you use because it’s slower to react to changes in gradient, meaning it will accelerate for longer than a driver would when going up a hill. Motorways are usually flat, so reserve it for when you can cruise along.