With the last ever Spring Budget been and gone with no real change for Car and van drivers when it comes to fuel prices, it still makes sense to get yourself into certain habits to save yourself from burning off too much fuel - because after all, it's still not cheap!
IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has a few ideas for you.
- Drive smoothly and keep your acceleration as gentle as possible, easing off it early as you approach red traffic lights. Use the highest safe gear you can when driving.
- Try to avoid driving during the rush hour, because stopping and starting in traffic uses a lot of fuel because it uses first gear and that initial burst f fuel to get the car going every time. (Easier said than done, obviously.)
- Keep your speed as low as is safely possible for the driving conditions and road. As obvious as it may seem, driving faster uses more fuel, and by keeping speeds at a sensible pace, you can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%.
- Avoid overuse of the accelerator, and try pressing more lightly on the accelerator, as often you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal.
- Turn off the air-conditioning when you don't need it as it uses fuel in order to work.
- When you use the rear screen heater, turn it off when it is clear so that the car doesn't have to burn fuel to produce the electricity.
- And try to avoid doing lots of short journeys, especially during the winter and spring months, as your car uses a lot of fuel over the first four miles as the engine warms up. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60% more pollution than a warm engine, so stop the constant back and forth.
Car Care tips
- Make sure that your tyres are always kept at the correct pressures for the weight they are carrying.
- Get rid of unnecessary weight. Do you really need those golf clubs in the boot ALL the time? Do the kids bikes really need to go to work with you? The more weight in the back, the more the car has to carry, the more energy it needs, the more fuel it burns. So take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need to carry them. And take off the roof rack or roof box too as it increases drag.
Let's leave the final word to Richard.
"Fuel is expensive and burning fuel is bad for the environment, a few small changes in the way we prepare our vehicles and plan our journeys can make a big difference in our fuel consumption. Sound observation and planning on our necessary journeys will help. Remember that safety and fuel saving can be complementary if we drive effectively."