Motoring Expert: “Everyone” Can Save Fuel
Motorists can save fuel, money, and the environment by making small changes to their driving, the Institute of Advanced Motorists says.
The Safety Charity's Chief Examiner, Peter Rodger, argues that: “There are many simple ways to improve” fuel economy and that “everyone is capable of achieving them”. Even reducing consumption by a modest (say) 5% could equate to significant savings over time.
Tips To Save Fuel
Mr Rodger has a series of easy to follow tips that help motorists drive efficiently. They relate to reading the road, speed, using the transmission, parking techniques, when to switch off the engine, minimising the vehicle's mass and fuel types. He explains:
- “Use alternative green fuels that contribute to the reduction in CO2 emissions if possible. Remember never fill the tank right up as this also reduces fuel efficiency.
- Extending your planning and observational skills will help you approach hazards - including roundabouts and junctions - a lot more smoothly without having to brake sharply and accelerate too often. The earlier you plan ahead, the sooner you can prepare to slow down if you need to.
- Making sure you keep to the speed limit not only ensures you avoid the risk of incurring a fine, but also ensures you reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%.
- If you drive a manual car use block gear changes on deceleration. For example, go straight into second gear from fifth gear if possible and appropriate – this will save a lot more fuel.
- If it is safe to do so, switch off your engine when you are stuck in a long queue. However, ensure that you remain alert and prepare for traffic to resume.
- Where possible, reverse into a parking bay so when you drive off again you can do so easily. It’s far more efficient and improves visibility.
- Heavy items in your car boot or a roof rack can also increase drag and therefore lower fuel economy – avoid weighing your car down with items you’ll never need.
- Before setting off ask yourself if you really need to drive, especially on short journeys where you can walk or cycle. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60 per cent more pollution than a warm engine – avoid these short journeys where possible.”