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Fuel or fun? We know what we’d prefer to spend our money on!
Nowadays, it feels like we find ourselves at the petrol station more times than we want to. Read our tips below on how to make your fuel last as long as possible. There are only a number of times when the bank of Mum and Dad can help you out before realising that you must become fuel savvy to manage ever increasing petrol costs.
Hopefully you’ll find the following useful:
• Plan your route before you leave
This may sound obvious but by planning your journey in advance you can make sure you take the shortest route and therefore use the least amount of fuel.
• Check your tyres
Did you know that keeping your tyres inflated can decrease fuel consumption by three per cent? Even more of a reason to keep your tyres in check so ensure they are correctly inflated and do not wear down.
• Decrease your speed
Driving fast wastes a lot of fuel so try slowing down a little. By driving at 50mph you use 20 per cent to 30 per cent less fuel than driving at 70mph so lighten the load on your accelerator!
• Don’t fill up your tank
Filling your tank right up can add extra weight to your car so by filling it with smaller amounts more frequently, your car will run more efficiently.
• Accelerate and brake gently
Every time you accelerate after coming to a complete stop, your car uses more fuel. By looking ahead at the road and slowing down before reaching traffic you can give the other cars time to move off before you reach them. Likewise, doing a Lewis Hamilton and accelerating quickly from traffic lights will just waste your petrol!
• Don’t warm up the engine
Turning on the engine before you’re ready to start driving doesn’t do anything but waste your petrol. If you know you’re going to be stationary for more than a minute or two, then switch off your engine.
• Use the right gear
By speeding up slowly and using your gears properly, you could reduce your fuel consumption by 30 per cent compared to over-revving the engine. Similarly, by driving in the highest gear possible (without labouring the engine) you can reduce your revs. Most instructors recommend trying to stay under 3,000 revs.
• Avoid using the air-con
Unless it’s a really hot day then you don’t really need it, and having your air conditioning switched off will help you save your petrol. Get those windows open!
• Keep your vehicle healthy
A dirty air filter affects the amount of air mixing with the fuel. Make sure your car is kept in tiptop shape by following the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.
• Shop around for good petrol prices
With a lot of supermarkets and large chain petrol stations all trying to undercut each other, it’s definitely a good idea to check out prices to find out where fuel is the cheapest before you pull up to the one nearest to your work or home.