Did you know that the way you drive your car can considerably increase your fuel consumption and cost you more money?
There are some simple adjustments which can be made to your daily driving habits which could end up saving you hundreds of pounds over the course of a year.
Whether your car is petrol or diesel, and whether it’s a 1-litre engine or a 3-litre engine, driving in a more efficient way will save you money and reduce fuel consumption.
We caught up with Darren of Big Motoring World to get his top tips for efficient driving.
Cut down the number of short car trips
This isn’t as obvious as it first sounds!
Clearly driving less will use less fuel. But what we mean here is that every time you start your car from cold, it uses far more fuel for the first few miles.
So if you go out to drop the kids at school, then a few hours later you pop out to the shops, then a few hours later, collect the kids, then a few hours later, drive out to see friends, all of these little trips will be costing far more in fuel than if you did some of them together – so drop the kids off and go straight to the shops, for example.
Cut down on all the little trips in the car to save money.
Keep your windows and roof closed
While it might be tempting to feel the wind in your hair, driving with the windows and roof open while travelling at high speed on the motorway will make your car less aerodynamic and therefore require more fuel to run efficiently.
By keeping the windows shut and using the air con instead, you will be saving money on fuel consumption when driving.
The other element which can affect how your car runs in this way is leaving an empty roof rack or ski box on top of the car. Always take them off your vehicle when you are not using them.
Avoid rush hour driving
It might be impossible but if you can avoid driving in the rush hour all together you will save a lot of money in fuel consumption.
Braking and then starting up in 1 st gear repeatedly takes up a lot of fuel. If you can’t avoid the rush hour completely then try driving continuously but slowly, rather than stopping and starting as this will make a big difference to your fuel costs.
Drive your car smoothly
If you can drive at around 50mph, or just retain a constant speed, then you will be driving efficiently and lowering your fuel costs.
The higher the gear you can stay in the better as well. But if you are the type of driver who likes to speed up to overtake all the time, then slow down, you need to know that this speed changing will be costing you money in fuel every time you do it.
Patient, efficient drivers save both fuel and money.
Also, pushing your foot to the floor, rather than changing down a gear, will also use up way more fuel than simply changing down, so try to avoid pushing your accelerator right down. Clearly this only applies to manual cars.
Staying within the speed limit
Driving faster uses up more fuel.
If you are racing to get somewhere and travelling over the speed limit, you are not only breaking the law but you are also increasing your fuel costs hugely potentially. So next time you are tempted to put your foot down, remember your purse strings.
Keeping your tyre pressures up
If you let your tyre pressure drop it increases the amount of fuel your car needs to travel along. Make sure you check your tyre pressure regularly and keep it topped up to save money and keep your car safe.
Choose black box insurance
Another driving efficiently can save you money is by opting for a specialist insurance policy known as a black box insurance scheme.
You have a box fitted into your car which then records how you drive and the better you drive your car, the lower your insurance premiums are.
Demonstrating safe driving skills means you spend less on your insurance.
There are many reasons to drive more smoothly and efficiently with safety clearly being the number one reason. However, sticking to the speed limit and keeping your car tyres well maintained, not only improves safety but can also save you money in terms of lowering your fuel consumption.
While it may not be possible to avoid driving in rush hour, driving more smoothly rather than constantly stopping and starting, can help to lower your costs, as well as being better for your car all round. By making just a few small adjustments to your daily driving habits you will soon notice a significant difference in your car running costs.