Save money on petrol with fuel-efficient driving

17 June 2008

The four-day tanker driver strike has ended, but the cost of petrol remains high and is likely to continue to creep upwards in the coming months.

You can save money on the cost of petrol by using websites such as to source the cheapest deals, or by opting for a credit card that offers discounts or cashback on fuel purchases.

But the way you drive can also help bring down the cost of running a car.

Experts say the overall fuel-efficiency of your car can be improved by up to 30% by vehicle maintenance and changing your style of your driving. Here are Moneywise’s top tips for fuel-efficient driving that are not only good for the environment, but also for your bank balance:

1. Stick to the speed limit
Sticking to the speed limit is not only a legal requirement, it is also a good way to reduce your fuel consumption. According to The Slower Speeds Initiative, driving at 50 mph instead of 70 mph can cut your fuel bill by 30%.

2. Check your tyres
Check your tyres regularly to ensure they are properly inflated. Under-inflated tyres can add 8% to fuel bills and lead to uneven wear and premature failure, according to Which?

3. Use the right gear
Make sure you are driving in the appropriate gear. Racing the engine too low, or labouring too high, will burn more fuel. Which? says motorists can make a 25% saving on petrol by sticking with the appropriate gear.

4. Lighten the load
Ditch the roof or bike rack if it isn’t needed, as a heavier car means a higher fuel bill.

5. Turn off the air-con
Which? says that keeping the air-conditioning on all the time can add 10% to the cost of your fuel bill. Open the window instead.

6. Go green
Drive a “green” car. Research from found that British motorists could cut their fuel bills by an average of £165 each year, by opting for an environmentally-friendly car. Co-operative Financial Services says one of the cars with the lowest carbon emissions is the Ford Focus Econetic, which has a CO2 output of 114.

7. Get a service
Service your vehicle regularly, as a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption.

Other articles on how to reduce the cost of running your car:

Can green motoring save you money?

Cut the cost of keeping your car on the road

Motorists braced for further petrol hikes



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