The BBC News recently recorded that the average price of a litre of fuel across the nation stood at around £1.24 for petrol and £1.34 for diesel at the beginning of December 2018. Instead of consigning yourself to the rising fuel prices, and forking out more money to keep your vehicle running though, Audi servicing providers Vindis has the following advice about how drivers can make the fuel go further…
Combine multiple trips where possible
It takes at least five miles of driving to warm the engine up from cold, meaning it uses more fuel as it does so. Driving for as long as possible when the engine is warm will work out more efficient than taking several short trips with long gaps in between each one.
For example, if you do the morning school run, take your trip to the supermarket for the weekly shop then stop for a quick visit to family, you could do all three during one stint away from your home.
Maintain an aerodynamic design
More fuel is consumed when your car is subjected to wind resistance. Keeping windows and sunroofs closed, especially when you’re travelling at high speeds, will help to reduce drag. Remove roof racks and boxes for storage when they aren’t being used as well — did you know that up to 20 per cent fuel can be saved on an annual basis by removing a cargo box from a vehicle’s roof alone!
Those responsible for designing your vehicle will be looking into aerodynamics as they look for ways to reduce the drag that a car possesses, so it makes sense that drivers should be maintaining that aerodynamic design too.
Get rid of the unnecessary weight
The more stuff that you have in your car, the more fuel that’ll be needed to get everything from one place to another. The RAC claims that every 50kg increases your fuel consumption by two per cent on average. With this in mind, regularly look around your vehicle for extra load and remove anything 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?
Fuel economy can also be helped by only filling half your car’s tank with fuel — this substance adds to the weight after all. Unless you are going on a road trip and you’re not going to need 300+ miles worth of petrol or diesel, only fill the fuel tank halfway. You don’t need more than that just to complete a half-hour commute to and from work.
Carry out some maintenance checks
Ensuring that your car is in tip-top condition will enable it to get you wherever you need to go on less fuel. A regular service is highly recommended to achieve the best efficiency, and also make sure that you use the correct specification of engine oil too — consult your manufacturer handbook to find the details you need here.
Tyre pressures also need to be checked both on a regular basis and before any long journey, as 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.
Become smoother with your driving
Spend less time behind the wheel braking and then accelerating and you will use up less 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 to smoothly climb up a hill.
Your fuel economy can often be hampered when driving in heavy traffic that keeps on stopping and starting too, so 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 example.