Updated: 26/10/2022 09:06:09

Save Your Fuel: Tips

Fuel and electricity costs are a huge part of our monthly budgets, so what can we be doing to save on visits to the petrol station or make that charge go further?

Laura Jenkins

Petrol and electricity prices are all over the place at the moment. Earlier in 2022 we saw a huge and sudden rise in fuel prices, causing havoc across the UK. Many of us took this opportunity to try and find ways to save on our fuel usage, but it is handy to implement a number of changes all year round to decrease your overall run costs.

Empty your car of unnecessary weight

If you've ever offered a friend a lift and had to first move a mountain of things off your passenger seat, this ones for you. Extra weight inside your vehicle means that the engine has to work much harder to accelerate and get up to speed. It might not seem like much but you'll be surprised just how much all those spare shoes and tools in the back of your car weigh. As someone who used to keep a weighted plate carrier in the boot, I can say the car feels much nipper after a good weekend sort out! If not in use, it might also be worth reducing weight by removing roof racks or bicycle carriers. For every 25kg of extra weight you're increasing your fuel consumption by 1%.

Get the balance of air-con and open windows right

Using your air-con can increase your fuel consumption significantly. This works with the windows closed and is the best option in the summer for those with allergies. But it's much more efficient to open your windows to try and increase air flow. However, once you hit 60mph, the drag from open windows becomes significant enough that it is actually more efficient to use the air-con. If you really want to try and keep cooler and be energy efficient, keep the windows open below 60mph but switch to aircon on journeys where you're travelling at higher speeds.

Pump up those tyres

Ideally, you'll want to perform fortnightly checks on your tyre pressure. A drop of a couple of PSI can really make a difference to your rolling resistance. Not only this, but underinflated tyres can affect braking performance. It can also result in tires wearing unevenly, meaning you'll need to change your tires more often.

Don't need your roof box? Take it off!

Resistance and drag can add up fast to slow you down. Make sure you remove roof boxes or external attachments that contribute to drag, especially if planning a long trip on the motorway. As mentioned before, make sure you close your windows over 60mph to reduce drag and fuel or energy consumption.

Shop around for fuel

Filling up at a local supermarket is usually cheaper and helps cut fuel costs. Fuel is also usually cheaper in towns and cities so if you live in the countryside, it might be worth filling up the next time you're visiting a larger city.The rumours of supermarket fuel being bad for your car are generally disputed and this won't affect your vehicle unless you are driving a high performance car. Don't travel too far just to get cheap fuel, you may end up spending all of your savings on getting to the forecourt!

Improve performance on a budget

There are a number of affordable additives which can instantly improve older vehicles performance, reduce fuel consumption and improve combustion to enhance engine performance. A favourite of the Offeroftheday team is Wynns Gold Formula. Just add this to a full tank of fuel to clean and lubricate the fuel pump and injectors to help restore any lost fuel economy.

Change your driving style

  • Change gears earlier. Try to find the sweet spot for your own car by changing gear earlier than usual. You'll have to have a practice to find the sweet spot, you don't want to change too soon and find yourself struggling to get going. Luckily, many newer cars have handy gear change indicators letting you know the most economical moment to change gear. Some people find short shifting (going directly from 1st to 3rd or 3rd to 5th) helps reduce fuel consumption.
  • Stick to speed limits. In short, the faster you drive, the higher your fuel consumption. Driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than 60mph, and 15% more than 50mph. Driving the motorway at 80mph uses up to 25% more than 70mph. Be aware of this on your daily commute, shaving a few minutes off your commute might not be worth what it costs, not to mention it's much safer (and legal) to stick to the speed limit.
  • Stop racing off the line. Harsh braking and harsh acceleration can really affect your fuel consumption, not to mention increase wear on your tires.

Switch to a greener car

If you switch to an electric car, charge it at home and switch to a competitive tariff, you will end up making savings. If you have the opportunity and off road parking, try to install a home charger. This is cheaper than public chargers and many providers offer special rates for electric car users. A number of supermarkets and other services offer free charging, so keep an eye out for these alternatives and take advantage when you can.


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What fuel saving tips do you stick to? Let us know below

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