July saw the return of rising petrol and diesel prices at the forecourt, with both petrol and diesel edging up by around 1p a litre.1 And with wholesale fuel prices being quite unstable at the moment, it could be that we’ll continue to see these changing costs at the petrol station for some time.
To help you keep your fuel costs down, we’ve got 5 top tips which might be worth giving a go…
Get rid of the excess weight
Carrying around excess weight by having those ‘essentials’ stored in your boot or having a roof rack on your car could be draining your fuel. That’s because on average, every 50kg of extra weight could increase your fuel consumption by 2%.2 And if you’ve got a smaller car this could affect you more, as this is relative to how much your car weighs.
Remember to regularly check what’s in your car and take out anything you don’t need, especially before long journeys.
Change your driving technique
Avoid harsh accelerations, heavy breaking and driving at high speeds. By driving at a steady speed of 50 miles per hour instead of 70 mph when possible, you could improve your fuel economy by 25%.3
Also, always try to make sure you’re driving in the right gear because if not, you may strain the engine, which will cause you to use up more fuel.
Keep an eye on your tyres
It’s worth checking your tyres every week or fortnight to make sure they’re pumped up to the correct pressure. Why? Because the lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel the car will need to get it moving. Tyre manufacturer Michelin says a drop of 15 PSI (1 bar) will mean a 6% increase in the amount of fuel your car uses.4 If you’re not sure what pressure your tyres should be, you’ll be able to find out in the car’s manual.
Do your research to find cheaper fuel
How much you pay for your fuel will depend on where you fill your car up, as prices do vary. That’s why it’s good to do your research and where possible plan things in advance. Websites like www.petrolprices.com can help with this as you can search fuel prices in your area for free. Obviously it will all depend on where the cheapest fuel is available, because if it’s quite a drive to get there you could be defeating the object! But the main thing to try to remember is to plan ahead, rather than waiting until you’re nearly running on empty and having to get to the nearest petrol station as soon as possible. If you do your research you could fill up somewhere that keeps the costs down.
Get under the bonnet
By keeping on top of the general maintenance of your vehicle you can improve the efficiency of your car and also its fuel consumption. Things to keep an eye on under the bonnet include fluids, belts, hoses and the car’s battery.
Your car depends on fluids to run effectively and most of these will have dipsticks, so it’s quite easy to check the levels periodically. Also, remember to check your oil levels so you can help protect and extend the life of your engine. Check your belts for any wear and tear and fraying too.
To find out more about general care and maintenance for your vehicle click here.
1 Price information taken from: https://media.rac.co.uk/pressreleases/cost-of-petrol-and-diesel-creep-up-in-july-2617044
2 Statistic taken from: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/how-to/fuel-saving-tips/
3 Statistic taken from: http://www.dft.gov.uk/vca/fcb/smarter-driving-tips.asp