Becoming more conscious of your fuel consumption could in turn make you a better driver, shorten your journeys and even lead to you using your car less… (and perhaps sharing it on Hiyacar for some extra cash when you’re not using it!). Below, we’ve put together our top ten tips for fuel conscious driving - involving altering how you go about undertaking longer journeys, making small changes to the additional items attached to your car and being more mindful of your driving habits.
Quick fix factors affecting your fuel consumption
Check your tyre pressure regularly
Our top and most simple fix for fuel efficiency, is regularly checking your tyre pressure. By making sure it’s at the optimal level as recommended in your vehicle’s manual, you’ll drive smoother and more fuel efficiently. The reason for this? Driving on under-inflated tyres means that your car needs to use more fuel just to move it along, by having the tyres at the correct pressure, your car will be moving along as it should, using the optimal amount of fuel to do so.
Remove unnecessary items from the boot or back-seat of the car
It may seem simple but have you been carrying that two-man tent around for a while in the boot, just because you couldn’t think where to put it in your flat? Perhaps you’re keeping walking shoes, climbing gear or other large bits of sports equipment in the boot or back-seat, just because? It might seem arbitrary, and the change will only be slight, but every little helps in terms of the weight the car is driving around - the lighter it can be, the less fuel it will use!
Remove roof or bike racks when they’re not in use
Along the same lines, if you’ve still got your bike rack or top box attached from your last holiday and thought you might as well leave it on… well, it may be a little bit of hassle to detach it, but these bulky additions to your car may be weighing you down and adding ‘drag’ to your driving, and thus using more fuel!
Make small, adaptive changes to your driving style to save fuel
Smooth driving saves fuel
Whether you’re driving off at speed from traffic light changes, over-revving or making a point of continually braking sharply, these are what will cost you in terms of fuel usage. By accelerating gently when switching through the gears and cutting down on ‘stop-start’ driving, you’re on the fast-track to saving fuel! The smoother and more consciously you shift through gears, accelerate and brake, the less fuel you’ll be using.
Watch the road, anticipate and try not to lose momentum
This is a point we’ll stress again when it comes to route-planning, later in this post. However, by keeping focused on the road, whether you’ve chosen to go via country lanes, inner-city roads or motorways, adapting your speed and driving style to the environment you’re in is always a good idea. Depending on your route, you may be stopping and starting a lot, if you’re conscious of what other road users are doing, then you’ll be able to plan ahead of time the gear changes you will make and the deceleration you’ll make towards traffic lights.
Change gear earlier - drive in the highest gear possible within that speed limit
Gear changing is notorious for using fuel, so to make your driving as smooth as possible, make sure you stick to the speed limit, but change gears when the car is telling you to - making the engine labour in a gear too low is going to use more fuel. Likewise, be conscious of your gear changes, change smoothly rather than over-revving and hurrying through them to the one you need.
Conscious frill-free driving to be more fuel efficient
Track your fuel consumption
Make a note of how often you’re filling the tank and how many miles you’ve done, that way, when you’ve put our fuel conscious driving tips into effect on a new full tank, you can measure the difference in fuel consumption (you can thank us later!)
Drive less short journeys & when possible, combine trips
Ultimately, using your car less will save you fuel, of course. Thinking ahead to next week, which short journeys are you planning on taking, or are regularly taking, which you may be able to cycle or walk instead? And if you’re on a longer journey, can you combine this trip with other errands you need to run? Equally, by pre-planning longer journeys in terms of the roads you take - for example to avoid inner-city areas where you’ll be stop-start driving a lot, you’re set to save too.
If, after re-evaluating the shorter journeys you take, you find yourself using your car less, what better way of making a little extra cash to cover your own fuel costs (and more besides) than listing and sharing your car on Hiyacar? Check out our previous post listing all the different ways in which sharing your car when you’re not using it, can be beneficial to you and your local community.
If waiting around, turn off the engine
Our penultimate tip may seem like an obvious one, but we know how convenient it can seem to ‘get the car ready’ when waiting for passengers to get in, whilst in your driveway or in on-street parking. However, by waiting until the passengers are strapped in and ready to go, before turning on the engine, you can save fuel.
Cut down on aircon and radio
Last, but not least, frill-free driving is what will ultimately save you a noticeable amount of fuel. Are you always putting the aircon on, especially to warm up? How about using your heated seats (a feature a majority of cars now offer) instead? This feature uses less energy and will still keep you warm! The same goes with the car radio, how about an old-fashioned game of ‘i-spy’ from time to time to take a break from the radio?
After more driving tips? Look no further - check out our advice on driving in fog, our top tips for looking after your car in winter and our list of the most important vehicle checks to perform, before driving.