Putting too much of your budget toward gas or the electric bill? In this tutorial, we will teach you how to stretch your money further and reduce the costs associated with driving.
It is more crucial than ever before to get the most out of the gasoline, diesel, or electricity that you use to power your vehicle, as costs for all three have reached all-time highs. You may lower the costs of operating a car by making a few simple adjustments to the way you drive. While avoiding more costly gas stations is an excellent strategy to reduce the cost of filling up, you can also reduce the costs of operating a car by changing the way you drive. In this guide, we have compiled our best advice on how to increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle and decrease the amount you spend on gasoline.
1. Get your gas tank refilled at the grocery store.
If you fill up your tank at the same time that you do your grocery shopping, you will save money on fuel. The price of a litre of gasoline at supermarkets is normally a few pennies less than the price of a litre of gasoline at other fuel forecourts. In most cases, the price of gasoline is lower in towns and cities than it is in more rural areas. However, grocery stores, including those located in rural areas, are frequently still less expensive than gas stations controlled by oil companies in urban areas. In addition, you don’t have to be concerned that cheaper gasoline will be harmful to your vehicle; our in-depth guide on supermarket fuel will provide you with additional information on this topic.
2. Avoid premium unleaded
Even though there is no risk involved in using super unleaded gasoline, there is also typically no benefit to doing so, unless you drive a high-performance or imported vehicle that mandates its use. Considering that the price of super unleaded is often 10 to 15 pence higher per litre than the price of regular unleaded, it is clear that avoiding the premium pumps is going to result in significant cost savings for the vast majority of drivers. Each engine that we lab test contains independent fuel economy statistics, which we include in all of our vehicle assessments.
We show the fuel economy of each engine so that you may select a vehicle that is suitable for your budget. We use the price of fuel for that month to calculate how much it will cost you to fill up a tank, as well as how much it will cost you over the course of one month and the course of a full year. Make wise decisions, improve the quality of your purchases, and cut costs by following our recommendations: Subscribe for free to our Weekly Scoop email right here.
3. Keep a calm and steady pace
When you are behind the wheel, make an effort to accelerate in a gradual manner and stay away from abrupt throttle inputs.
To assist in reducing the amount of fuel that you use, you should, of course, take your foot off the throttle pedal whenever the opportunity presents itself. Keep the engine speed between 1,500 and 2,500 revolutions per minute (for a petrol engine) and 1,200 and 2,000 revolutions per minute (diesel engine). Reading the road ahead of you to avoid having to apply the brakes when it’s not necessary will also help you enhance your efficiency.
When an automobile slows down, the energy that was previously used to accelerate is wasted. To some extent, hard braking is unavoidable; but, if you are approaching a set of traffic lights, you should make an effort to coast (i.e., keep the car in gear) to a stop rather than applying the brakes.
You might even find that you don’t need to stop the car at all if the lights turn green on time, and you won’t consume as much fuel accelerating again if you do find that you don’t need to halt the car. Do keep an eye on the traffic behind you; if a vehicle is approaching from a particularly close distance, it is recommended that you lightly brake while flashing your brake lights. The same rules that apply to gas-powered vehicles also apply to electric vehicles: accelerate slowly and avoid stopping abruptly. In addition, using an electric vehicle’s regenerative braking system will help maximise the vehicle’s range as well as the lifespan of the vehicle’s mechanical brakes.
4. Change gears earlier
Every vehicle is going to be different, but there’s going to be a sweet spot where you may choose to go up a gear sooner while still keeping the engine from having to work too hard. Running the engine at its absolute limit will not improve its efficiency. To determine whether or not the engine can handle this, try shifting up a gear 2,000 revolutions per minute earlier than you normally would.
Many brand-new automobiles will also come equipped with a gear-shift indication that will tell the driver when it is most fuel-efficient to change gears. Short shifting, often known as skipping gears or going directly from first to third, is another way to assist reduce the amount of fuel you use.
5. Always travel at the permitted speed.
When travelling at greater speeds, your average fuel economy will suffer as a direct result. According to data provided by the Department of Transport (DfT), travelling on a highway at a speed of 80 miles per hour consumes around 25 percent more fuel than travelling at 70 miles per hour. Traveling at 70 miles per hour instead of 60 miles per hour in an open speed limit zone will use 9 percent more fuel, and driving at 50 miles per hour will use an extra 5 percent more fuel.
6. Perform a pressure check on your tyres.
Check the owner’s manual for your vehicle or, more likely, the sticker that is located on the pillar of the driver’s door to ensure that the recommended amount of air pressure is in your tyres. Because underinflated tyres have a higher rolling resistance than tyres with the appropriate amount of air in them, your vehicle’s engine will have to work marginally harder when there isn’t enough air in the tyres. Tires that are inflated wrongly are more likely to wear early or unevenly, which means that you will need to replace them more frequently.
7. To decrease air resistance and empty your cargo hold.
Remove all superfluous equipment. Roof racks, exterior boxes, and bicycle carriers all contribute additional weight to your vehicle; therefore, you should remove them when they are not in use. The increased effort required by the engine to accelerate the vehicle due to the additional weight results in a higher overall fuel consumption. Additionally, they will make the structure more wind resistant. The same rule applies to any parts of the bodywork that are bent or any trim pieces that do not fit properly. When travelling at greater speeds, keeping your windows open can also produce significant drag, therefore it is best to keep them closed whenever possible.
8. Don’t get your engine nice and toasty.
Instead of letting your car sit and warm up after turning it on, it is generally recommended that you take it for a slow drive as soon as you switch it on. This recommendation, however, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not only will the engine warm up more quickly, which will reduce the possibility of wear on the engine, but you will also use less fuel as a result of this. If your automobile is iced over, rather than starting the engine and relying on the warmth, you should scrape the ice off with an ice scraper or use a de-icing spray. Watch this video to learn how to de-ice your windshield in the most effective manner.
9. Put the machinery to a halt.
The air conditioner is the component that uses the most energy in the majority of modern cars. It should only be used in situations where there is no other option, which in this country is not very often.
Turn off the heated rear screen, the demisters, and the headlights if you don’t need them. The same applies for when you use the demisters. 10. Use a sat nav If you are travelling to a location that you are not acquainted with, it is imperative that you carefully plan your route in order to avoid getting lost and spending unnecessary amounts of fuel.
Whether it’s an app on your phone or a specialised device, satellite navigation systems will display the shortest path to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. They can also reroute you on the fly, for example to take a different route that avoids traffic. Some models may even choose the most fuel-efficient route and will steer clear of impediments that waste fuel, such as steep slopes and regions with high traffic that frequently stops and starts.
Check out our guide to the finest satellite navigation systems to see which models and apps we recommend. 11. Maintain your car Make sure that your vehicle is serviced on a regular basis and in accordance with the recommended maintenance schedule. A car that has just been serviced and has clean oil and new filters will run more effectively. This is in addition to lowering the risk of incurring significant costs in the not too distant future. This section of our guide will explain how to locate a reputable garage in your area.
12. Participate in cashback programmes.
A growing number of retail establishments, including gas stations and supermarkets, are providing clients with loyalty cards in the hope of retaining their business. When a consumer buys fuel, they swipe their loyalty card, and points are accumulated that may be traded for savings at a later date. The typical operation of the programmes is as follows: Signing up for a loyalty card could help you save money if you fill up your tank at the same gas station on a regular basis or if you normally fill up your tank after doing your grocery shopping. Are you having trouble deciding which car to buy next?
Compare different vehicles’ gas mileage and expenses by using the information provided in each of our in-depth automobile reviews.
13. Opt for a vehicle with lower emissions.
Making the move to an electric vehicle could help you save money on your operating expenses. You will save money on charging costs if you charge it at home and switch to a competitive tariff plan. If you aren’t quite ready to make the switch to electric vehicles, you might want to look into gasoline-electric hybrids. In spite of the fact that diesel vehicles have typically been thought of as being more fuel efficient, our studies have found some extremely fuel-efficient gasoline hybrid versions.
However, you must make your decision with caution. One of the hybrids we put through our battery of independent tests produced extremely high levels of pollutants, while several of the others exceeded the fuel usage of their conventionally powered equivalents. It has come to our attention that certain plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), in particular, can fall short.
This is due to the fact that official values are computed using a fully charged battery, and our intensive road cycle is not included in the calculation. When testing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, we discharge the battery first, then charge it to its maximum capacity, and finally repeat each test cycle a total of six times or until the battery reaches a charge level of fifty percent.
Our calculations will give you a better indication of what to anticipate in actual use of the vehicle, provided that you do not plug it in every time you park it. We take a look at the best electric cars and the best hybrid automobiles that will be available in 2022.
14. Have a home charger installed (if you can)
Not everyone has the ability to charge their vehicle at home. To be able to home charge, you will need off-road parking, such as a driveway or garage, and you will also need to be able to get power to it, which might be difficult if you live in a flat or in the middle of a busy metropolis.
If, on the other hand, you drive an electric vehicle and have the ability to install a charger, charging your vehicle at home is almost likely going to be less expensive than using public chargers (unless, of course, you use free chargers; scroll down for more information on this). However, there will be an upfront investment required.
The purchase and installation of a charger will likely cost you more than 500 pounds, but the money you save on gas and parking will more than make up for the initial investment over time. Learn more about the process of charging electric cars at home.
15. Take use of the free charging stations.
If you are unable to install a charger in your home, you might try using one of the free charging points that are located nearby. Free charging stations can be found in a variety of businesses, retail parks, and conventional parking lots. These free charging stations are typically reserved for clients who have paid for the product or service being offered. Additionally, a handful of supermarkets now provide free charging at their locations. For example, Tesco has teamed up with Volkswagen and Pod Point to create a partnership. You can search for free charging points on the Zap-Map website by making use of the website’s filters (open the Filters on the left, click ‘Payment,’ then select ‘free to use’). Try to stay away from utilising rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers if there aren’t any free charging stations in your immediate area. They might be the quickest way to get electricity into your car, but the cost of using them is likely to be the highest.