It was announced last month that petrol and diesel cars will soon be a thing of the past, with the sale of new fuel powered cars banned from 2040.
At Duffy Motors, we have already started training our staff in how to fix electric vehicles and hope to become Manchester’s repair destination for all electric car drivers. But while petrol and electric vehicles are still with us we want to make sure that all our customers make the most of them.
The RAC claim that boy racers could achieve savings of up to 30% if they used petrol and diesel more efficiently. But even careful drivers could save about £500 each year if they spend £50 per week on fuel.
Here are some top tips for cutting petrol or diesel consumption.
Keep your car properly serviced
A well-maintained car, that is serviced each year, is up to 10% more efficient than one that has been allowed to fester in its old oil.
It’s also less likely to break down, saving you on you on MOT and repair costs.
Avoid rush hour
You might hate traffic jams even more if you knew how much it was costing you in extra fuel. When your car is in first or second gear it is gobbling up fuel, so if you barely get above 20mph before you need to brake again, then you know you are using fuel inefficiently.
Avoid rush hour if you can or think about getting a hybrid car, which is much more efficient around town centres.
Shut your windows
Anything that makes that windy ‘wooshing’ sound when you are driving is not very good for your fuel consumption. Extra drag caused by open windows or sunroof means your car has to work harder to achieve the same speed.
Opening your window at lower speeds won’t have as much impact on your car’s aerodynamics so is preferable to using the air con if you need to cool down.
Switch off the air con
Newer cars perform slightly better, but generally speaking, air conditioning uses an incredible amount of fuel so make sure you only use it when you absolutely need to.
Winding down your windows is preferable at lower speeds, but if you are on the motorway then the air conditioning will only increase your fuel consumption by a few percentage points.
Remove the roof rack
Roof boxes, cycle racks, and anything else that adds extra weight and wind resistance to your car is subtracting from your fuel efficiency.
The RAC estimates that a roof rack can impact on your fuel consumption by as much as 10% while a big roof box can be like having a second car strapped to your roof.
Take out extra weight
You wouldn’t carry a heavy rucksack around town if you didn’t need to, so don’t make your car carry all that extra weight when you aren’t going to use it.
It may seem practical to use your car boot as a hoarders hideaway, but all the extra weight will hit your wallet.
Drive at a constant speed
Driving at a constant speed, in the highest gear you can, is the best way to bring down your bills. Make sure you accelerate and decelerate smoothly and shift up the gears as soon as you can without labouring the engine.
Make sure you drive patiently and don’t bother with speedy overtaking manoeuvres.
As well as driving at a constant speed and accelerating and decelerating smoothly, you want to make sure that you are driving at a suitable speed.
The ideal speed is about 50mph, driving at 70mph can be as much as 20% less efficient.
Check your tyre pressure
The lower your tyre pressure, the more fuel you need to make your car move.
Taking five minutes to check your tyre pressure each fortnight could save your lots of money over the course of a year. You can usually find your recommended tyre pressure near the lock inside the driver-side door.
Check petrol prices
Driving several extra miles to get slightly cheaper petrol is obviously not cost-effective, but it pays to know where the cheapest pumps are near your house or place of work.
Go to PetrolPrices.com, enter your postcode and it will tell you the cheapest petrol stations within a five or ten-mile radius. Prices within five miles of Duffy Motors at the time of writing ranged from 110.9p to 122.9p per litre.
Split the cost of your commute
Some ride sharers can save £1,000 or more per year on fuel, upkeep and parking costs. Find someone at work who lives close by or register your details on Liftshare.com to see if you can find matching commuters.