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Five ways to cut cost on fuel

Petrol prices have plummeted this year, dashing below £1/litre for the first time in what feels like forever (reality: 5 years). But for the truly thrifty among us, let’s find out how to drive down fuel costs even further. And no, we promise not to spout the predictable “use your car less” enviro-friendly answer!

1. De-clutter

Whether you’re a devout minimalist or your idea of de-cluttering is picking up your floordrobe, it’s likely your car interior has room for improvement. Put simply: anything extra will weigh down your car and use up unnecessary petrol.

Key culprits: unused bike and roof racks, heavy hobby equipment such as golf bag and kit and general car debris. Every extra matters, so get out there with a bin bag, get de-cluttering and watch your petrol consumption decrease.

2. Slow down

Easy tiger, the faster you go, the quicker you’ll use up your petrol. A sad – but unfortunately proven –fact of life. Fuel economy starts to suffer when you hit 60mph and when you push the pedal to 70mph it starts to seriously nosedive. Don’t believe us? Studies have shown that slowing down from 70mph to 50mph can increase your miles per gallon by 15%.

If the thought of driving around the M25 in the 50s feels like a fate worse than death, feel free to crank it up to 60mph, according to the AA you’ll still use 9% less fuel than if you were travelling at 70mph.

3. Maintenance

Again, not a sexy option, but critically important in keeping your wheels fuel efficient. The RAC reckon that just keeping your tyre pressures pumped up to the correct pressure will improve fuel consumption by around 2%. Pretty impressive considering it takes no longer than five minutes to check and update.

Other things to remember include a regular engine oil change, as dirty oil doesn’t allow the engine to run as efficiently as clean oil. Also check your air filter, a car’s engine needs to breathe freely to get efficient combustion of your fuel. Summary? The name of the game is maintain!

4. Drive for efficiency

Get out of your bad habits and get a fuel efficiency mind-set instead! Here are a few AA approved tips for getting an extra few miles for your buck:

  • Avoid stopping whenever possible, starting again will use more fuel.
  • Change your gear earlier to keep the load light on the engine. The AA specifically recommends changing up at an engine speed of around 2,000 rpm in a diesel or 2,500 in a petrol.
  • Stuck in traffic? Turn that engine off if you’re going to be waiting more than three minutes.
  • Drive as smooth as possible, accelerate and decelerate gently.

5. Research the best price

Always go to the nearest petrol station? You could be doing it wrong. Use websites like or to compare local fuel prices. If you think it sounds like overkill, bear in mind the prices can vary up to 20p a litre. Still not convinced? That is around £350 a year for the average person! On this note, check out local fuel offers too, often supermarkets have decent one. If you go food shopping anyway, you may as well make the most of them! 

Driving Tips  03/03/2015 09:16:40

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