How to cut your petrol bill
Escalating fuel prices is now making it prohibitively expensive to drive. But, as Moneywise TV explains, there are ways you can cut the cost of your petrol bill.
The spiraling price of fuel is now making it prohibitively expensive to drive. But you don't have to jump on the bus or switch to a costly hybrid to cut your petrol bill.
First, make sure you aren't carrying unnecessary luggage. You don't have to get rid of passengers just make sure you only have what you need in the boot and ditch the roof rack.
If you're too warm, open the windows at low speeds, only using air-conditioning on faster roads, where it has less effect on fuel consumption. Idle cars drain fuel so if you're stuck in traffic and unlikely to move in three minutes, cut the engine.
Your driving style has a big impact. The more you accelerate, the more money you burn. Drive to speed limits – 70mph uses 9% more fuel than driving at 60 and cruising at 80 miles an hour uses 25% more than driving at 70.
Of course crawling away from traffic lights and creeping off the slip road will irritate other drivers and could be dangerous. Just don't accelerate more than you need. Drive smoothly and in the highest gear for your speed – this means an engine speed of 2000 rpm in a diesel car and 2500 for petrol.
Stopping and starting the engine drains fuel too –wherever possible slow down to keep your car rolling. Whatever you do don't coast, that is letting the car roll whilst out of gear. This used to be a common way of saving petrol, but it means you don't have full control and will find it tricky to accelerate out of dangerous situations.
Getting lost or being stuck in traffic costs money. Make sure you know where you are going before you leave and check travel bulletins before you go. Finally if you have lots of short trips think about combining them – warm engines run more efficiently than cold ones.
Tips like these might not save you much individually but together they soon rack up. Tests from AA show they can reduce the typical driver's fuel bill by up to 10%.
Of course this could be wiped out just by filling up at an expensive petrol station so check out sites like petrolprices.com which show the cheapest forecourts in your area. Just make sure you don't rack up lots of additional miles by driving out of your way to get it.