Feb
16
2009

Any tips on saving money when driving?

Join the traffic jam (photo by tinken CC-BY)

Join the traffic jam (photo by tinken CC-BY)

Cars are expensive even at the best of times. Here are some tips to improve your miles per gallon and save some money.

When driving, anticipate what is going to happen on the road ahead. Looking well ahead – two or three cars ahead – gives you time to anticipate what is going to happen. It cuts down on harsh braking and acceleration, and unnecessary gear changes. Similarly, on the motorway keep your distance from the car in front, this will allow you to gently smooth out fluctuating speeds in congested traffic. These measures will save fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle.

Short journeys in a cold car can use up to twice the amount of fuel. Think about cutting out unnecessary journeys.

Do not drive fast. For the majority of cars, the most efficient fuel consumption is at 55-65 miles per hour.

The Rev counter. Change gear at 2500 rpm petrol and 2000 rpm diesel cars.

Air conditioning. Treat as a luxury. Use of air conditioning increases fuel consumption.

When starting your engine, drive off straight away. Letting the engine warm up is unproductive and uses fuel.

A roof rack or roof box adds to the car’s drag and increase fuel consumption. Remove it when not in use.

Think about your route. Avoid known road-works. Stuck in a traffic jam crawling along for several hundred yards or more is much more inefficient than another slightly longer route where the drive is uninterrupted.

Check your tyre pressures are correct. Deflated tyres increase fuel consumption. It is reported that a pound under pressure increases fuel use by 2%.

Have your vehicle regularly serviced. Paying for a service may not seem a cost-saver, but over a period of a year, the fuel costs of a badly serviced vehicle will far exceed this.

Happy motoring.

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