As we move into 2019 it is becoming an expensive time to run a car, with fuel prices coming out of a two-year high and the uncertainty around Brexit causing a weak pound. Throw rising oil prices into the mix and you have a recipe for expensive car journeys.
We'll all be looking at the best ways of saving money on petrol and fortunately, the solutions to bringing down your fuel costs don't need to involve technical wizardry. There are some simple tips you can take on board to ensure you are saving money on petrol.
Finding the cheapest petrol and diesel is the most obvious way to make your money go further, but you’ll also be wanting to know the best ways to get more mileage out of your tank on each journey. Follow these eight tips to start saving:
1. Make fewer journeys
This might seem like strange advice when talking about cars, but one of the best ways to save on fuel costs is to only make necessary journeys. If you are not using your car all the time you won’t be using as much petrol, it’s really as simple as that!
Do you need to use the car to run that errand? Or to go to the shops? Can you walk or use public transport instead? You can also combine all your errands and jobs into one trip instead of lots of small ones.
Pick times of day when the traffic will be reduced to keep your fuel consumption down, the less time spent starting and stopping the less fuel you will use.
2. Slow down
Reducing your speed can actually have positive effects on your bank balance when it comes to fuel. As an example whilst driving a car on a motorway dropping from 70mph to 60mph could save an additional 10% as well – so reducing your speed is an effective way to save cash.
3. Keep your tyres inflated
To get the most mileage out of your vehicle you need to keep it in optimum working order, and a large part of that is the functionality of your tyres. Regularly check your tyre pressure to make sure all of them are inflated to the correct level.
Underinflated tyres can transform even the most economical car into a petrol-guzzling nightmare. Keeping the tyres correctly inflated can improve your fuel consumption by up to 2% according to the RAC.
4. Don't weigh your car down
The more weight it is carrying the more fuel it will use to operate. Try to keep your boot clear and don’t store heavy objects anywhere in the car unless it is necessary for the journey you are making.
5. Lay off the revs
On average, motorists let the ‘revs’ (revolutions per minute or RPM) run to 3,000 per minute in petrol cars before changing up a gear but making a conscious decision to change gears to a lower rev rate is a good step towards saving money on petrol.
It is far more efficient to change gear at 2,500 RPM, and if you use high gears sooner rather than later this will also have a positive effect.
6. Drive sensibly
You might think that erratic stop/starts and acceleration all help you get to your destination quicker? Not only have you got that wrong, but it is also costing you more money for each journey.
Sensible driving is a sure-fire way to reduce your fuel costs. Drive smoothly and avoid lots of accelerating and braking. Speeding up to catch the car in front and having to brake doesn’t make your journey any quicker and burns through your fuel. Keep your distance, drive with the flow of traffic and save on petrol.
7. Streamline your vehicle
The more aerodynamic your car is the less it will have to work to move! Fuel consumption is increased by wind resistance. Maybe you often use a roof rack and box and it just seems easier to keep it attached the whole time.
It might save you time, but it doesn’t save you money on fuel. Removing roof-top storage can save a small but significant amount of petrol over the course of a year.
Another simple change would be to keep windows shut when travelling at high speeds. The additional drag will be using up fuel that you don’t need to be using.
On the flipside, when travelling at low speeds on hot days open the windows instead of using the air con to keep cool, as this will use less fuel.
8. Keep on top of motor mainatenance
As mentioned above, the better your vehicle is functioning the less fuel it will use! Make sure you keep on top of maintenance, repairs and scheduled services so that your car is running at its most efficient.
There is little you can do about the economy, the price of oil and what filling up at a service station will cost you, but by following these simple tips for saving money on fuel you can help make your money go further with each journey.