06 January 2017
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
With fuel prices increasing (the average petrol vehicle costs £6 to fill up compared with last December, and it costs diesel car drivers £5.50 more to brim a tank) fleets – and indeed owner-drivers – need to save money on fuel. Here, BusinessCar provides 10 green driving tips to help you out.
1. Keep tyres inflated
According to Michelin, underinflated tyres can increase a car’s fuel consumption by up to 6%.
Keeping tyres pumped up to the correct levels not only reduces the strain on a driver’s wallet, but correctly inflated tyres also play a key role in keeping them – and other road users – safe.
The right tyre pressures can be found in the car’s handbook or on a sticker inside the fuel filler cap.
2. Maintain the car
Along the same lines as the above tip, the AA recommends you service your car at regular intervals in order to maintain the engine’s efficiency levels.
The company also suggests checking oil every couple of weeks, and regularly topping up your screenwash.
Additionally, you should use the correct specification of engine oil for your vehicle, which can be found in your car’s handbook.
We also recommend checking your engine coolant levels on a regular basis, and suggest you double-check everything is OK before going on a long journey.
3. Plan your journeys in advance
Avoiding traffic hot-spots can really help to improve your car’s mpg figure, and will also save you time. Before you set off, we suggest you look at traffic reports and, if needs be, adjust your route so you can avoid the worst of the traffic jams.
4. Use aircon sparingly
Aircon is fantastic, but it uses fuel to keep you cool in the summer months, and warm in the winter. We recommend you switch it off once the car’s at an adequate temperate. Various companies estimate that using aircon can affect a car’s fuel efficiency figure by up 10%.
5. Change up nice and early
It is generally suggested you should change up at around 2,000rpm to ensure the car is at its most economical.
Most cars these days have arrows which will tell you when to change up to help fuel efficient driving standards stay high, and you should utilise them to help improve your mpg figure, though be mindful of changing up too early, as it could adversely affect your mpg figures.
6. Stick to speed limits
The faster you drive, the more fuel you will use up – everyone knows that. But did you know that travelling at 80mph instead of 70mph can use up to 25% more fuel? Sure, you may get to your destination quicker (assuming you’re not pulled over for speeding), but you’ll also have a larger fuel bill.
7. Ditch the roof-rack
Roof-racks and boxes on the top of the car can add wind resistance, thus increasing your fuel consumption, so it is recommended you take them off when they’re not in use.
8. Clear out the boot
Keeping the car free of unneeded things in the boot can help reduce its fuel consumption figure, as heavier cars use more fuel to move.
9. Use stop/start (or switch off the engine)
If you’re in traffic, it’s worth engaging stop/start technology, if your car is fitted with it, as it will help reduce the amount of fuel you’re burning unnecessarily. If you’ve been stationary in a traffic jam for a few minutes and nothing seems to be moving, it may be worth switching off the engine altogether.
10. Don’t use the car
Really want to improve your green driving credentials, and you’re only going a short distance? It could be worth considering not using the car at all. It takes a little while for engines to warm-up to optimum temperatures, so your vehicle may not be operating at its most efficient level during a quick, five-minute journey to the shops.