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Smart ideas to spend less on fuel



1. Plan your journey

Use maps or sat-nav to avoid traffic black spots, busy times and to avoid getting lost or driving further than you need to. The Covid-19 pandemic forced many people and companies to work smarter, not just by working from home but also by opening the door to more flexible hours – which can help avoid traffic and save fuel.


2. Lighten your load

What’s in your boot right now? Excess weight makes your vehicle work harder and uses up fuel. Take unnecessary bulky items out of the car, like golf clubs or work tools. If you have a baby, only take the buggy or pram when your little one is coming too. And remove any external carrying hardware, like roof boxes or bike racks, when they’re not in use. These things create wind resistance, meaning your car has to work harder when they’re attached.


3. Pressure check your tyres

Check your tyre pressure regularly and do it when they’re cold. That way, you’ll get a true reading. If you need to, pump up your tyres to the correct level to reduce rolling resistance.


4. Keep your mind on your driving

Focusing on the road doesn’t just keep you safe. It can also help reduce your fuel consumption. Because you’re more likely to keep your foot and speed steady. And avoid accelerating and braking unnecessarily.


5. Use your gears

If you’re driving a manual vehicle, switch to a higher gear as soon as you can. As a general rule, you’ll want to change up by 2000rpm in a diesel and before 2500rpm in a petrol, without letting the engine struggle at low revs.


6. Reduce idling time

Lots of modern cars feature stop-start engine technology. Which is great, but only if you let it work properly. If you sit with your foot pressing down on the clutch, the engine will keep burning fuel (and money). So take it off while you’re idling. Lots of automatics are equipped with eco-modes to disengage the engine from the driven wheels. They coast, which also saves fuel. If you’re stopped while waiting for someone, cut the engine entirely.


7. Switch off the air con

Unless it’s uncomfortably warm, keep the air conditioning off. Air-con can strain the engine and burn more fuel, especially at low speeds. Winding down the window usually does the trick. The same goes for heated windscreens and other electrical appliances. That being said, it does pay to switch the air-con back on every now and again to stop the components from degrading.


8. Give it some love

Regular services will keep your car running efficiently and stop you from getting too many unexpectedly large bills. It pays to nip issues in the bud before they have a chance to grow into an expensive problem.