15 Tips To Drive Smarter And Save Hundreds A Year

Modern cars have become far more fuel efficient, but there are still things that you can do as a driver to cut down on your fuel costs. These savings can add up to potentially hundreds of Euros a year. Here are our 15 tips to help you drive smarter and in a more fuel efficient way.

1. Get Your Car Serviced

To keep your engine running efficiently you should get it serviced according the manufacturer’s schedule. In particular it is important to check oil levels, and ensure you are using the correct oil specification.

2. Check Tyre Pressures

Ensuring your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure can make your car up to four percent more efficient. Under inflated tyres cause more resistance, so check your handbook to get the right pressure for your car.

3. Change Gear

Most new cars have a gear shift indicator that tells you the best time to change gear. For the most fuel efficient driving this is usually at around 2,000 rpm in a petrol car and 2,5000 rpm in a diesel car.

4. Use Your Handbrake

When you are stopped on an incline don’t ride the clutch with your accelerator to keep the car steady. You will save fuel (and reduce wear and tear on your clutch) by using your handbrake.

5. Remove Unnecessary Weight

If you are carrying unnecessary weight in your car your engine has to work harder and it uses more fuel. So, lighten the load.

6. Remove Roof Racks And Boxes

Reducing wind resistance can cut fuel consumption by up to 10 percent so unless they are absolutely necessary, remove roof racks and roof boxes.

7. Drive Smoothly

The most efficient way to drive is to be gentle on the accelerator and the brake. Driving smoothly means increasing speed gently, and decelerating slowly. Driving hard up to the speed limit and then holding that speed until the last second before braking will use more fuel.

8. Use Sat-Nav

Your sat-nav can help you plot the shortest and/or most fuel efficient route for your journey.

9. Close Your Windows

This is another option that decreases wind resistance, which saves considerable amounts of fuel. It is particularly important when driving at higher speeds.

10. Just Go

Don’t turn on your engine until you are ready to go. An idling engine is using fuel, and in modern cars it is completely unnecessary. One of the most common times this happens is in the winter when you idle while waiting for the windscreen to clear. A more fuel efficient approach is to leave the engine off, use a scraper to remove the ice, turn on your engine, and go.

11. Slow Down

Drive at a reasonable speed and of course always stay within the speed limits.

12. Limit Air Conditioning Use

In most cars you will increase your fuel consumption by up to five percent when you use air conditioning, so limit its use when possible.

13. Turn Off Gadgets

Everything in your car that uses power will increase your fuel consumption. This includes devices that you plug in – like your phone – and gadgets in the car – like heated windscreens, heated seats etc. If you want to reduce your fuel costs, turn these things off or unplug them.

14. Use Cruise Control

Using cruise control keeps your speed constant which helps with fuel efficiency.

15. Anticipate Traffic

Keep your eye on the road ahead and anticipate the traffic situation. For example, if you can see that you are likely to stop at a set of lights ahead, slow down on your approach.

You won’t be able to implement all of these tips all of the time, some of them you will already do, and others won’t apply to you. But by implementing those that are relevant you will be able to cut down on the amount of money you pay for petrol or diesel.

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