Brits appear to be paying more and more for fuel, with BBC News recording that the average price for a litre of fuel across the UK was approximately £1.34 for diesel and £1.24 for petrol as of December 2018. To help you make your set of wheels go much further on one tank of fuel, Vindis, a VW dealer, has the following words of advice…
Can you make your driving smoother?
Reducing the number of times that you brake and then accelerate while behind the wheel is one way to save a substantial amount of fuel. Obviously, there will be times when you’ll need to slow your vehicle down — or to a sudden standstill in the event of an emergency — but you should be road savvy enough to be able to approach traffic lights at a gentler pace, for example, or smoothly get up a hill.
Finding yourself in heavy traffic will also see you using more fuel than if you were driving along a quiet route. This is because you’ll be stopping and starting your vehicle every few moments. Therefore, if it’s possible try and get around having to commute in the rush hour. Perhaps you can head to an exercise class or gym that’s near your workplace instead of waiting until you get home, for instance.
Is there any unnecessary weight you can remove?
More fuel is used for each item that you have in your vehicle. Every 50kg increases your fuel consumption by two per cent on average, claims the RAC. With this in mind, regularly look around your vehicle and get rid of the stuff you aren’t using. Will you really be using that set of golf clubs in the middle of winter? Or that pair of cross country running shoes in the middle of summer?
Only needing to travel a short distance? Fuel economy can also be helped by only filling half your car’s tank with fuel — this substance adds to the weight after all, and you’re not going to need 300+ miles worth of petrol or diesel just to complete a half-hour commute to and from work.
Can you combine multiple trips into one?
A car’s engine will get cold after the vehicle has been parked up for a few hours. As a result, it’ll take a lot more fuel to be used for around the first five miles of you heading out onto the road to warm it up. With this in mind, you should look to drive for as long as possible when the engine is warm instead of conducting several short trips with long gaps in between each one.
Here’s an example of this advice in practice. If you do the school run in the morning, have to go to the supermarket for the weekly shop sometime during the day and visit some family, can you not do all three during one stint away from your home?
Are you preserving an aerodynamic design?
Wind resistance can be costing you dearly when it comes to the amount of fuel you’re consuming on a road trip. Therefore, it’s best to keep windows and sunroofs closed especially when you’re travelling at high speeds. Make sure to remove roof racks and boxes for storage when they aren’t being used as well — up to 20 per cent fuel can be saved on an annual basis by removing a cargo box from a vehicle’s roof alone!
Car designers consider the aerodynamics carefully when working on a vehicle. These designers will be looking for ways to reduce the drag that a car possesses, so it makes sense that drivers should be maintaining that aerodynamic design too.
Have you conducted maintenance checks around your vehicle?
A vehicle which is in tip-top condition should use quite a bit less fuel getting from A to B than one which is only barely able to complete a road trip. A regular service is highly recommended to achieve the best efficiency, while you need to be always using the correct specification of engine oil too — consult your manufacturer handbook to find the details you need here.
Tyre pressures need to be checked too, regularly and especially ahead of a long road trip. This is because tyres which are under inflated will force your car into having to use more fuel. Correctly inflated tyres, meanwhile, could improve fuel consumption by up to two per cent in context, according to the RAC.