Fuel prices have risen considerably in recent weeks further punishing cash-strapped motorists, according to the Automobile Association (AA). The breakdown specialist has therefore reported that the average cost of unleaded rose from 132.08 pence per-litre in January 2013 to 138.32 pence towards the end of February (+6.24). It now costs a further £4.36 to fill the 70-litre tank on a new Ford Mondeo Estate (£96.82 rather than £92.46). This equates to an additional £226.72 per-year assuming one fill-up per-week. Diesel prices, in contrast, have risen from 140.32 pence per-litre to 145.10 (+4.78). Why? Because the pound is weak against the dollar and the cost of crude oil is high. Fortunately, The Institute of Advanced Motorists has revealed how drivers can minimise their expenditure:
Fuel Saving Tips From Institute of Advanced Motorists
- Try to brake as infrequently as possible – slow down and take your foot off the accelerator earlier when approaching a queue, junction, roundabout or red traffic lights. Look further ahead of you so you can start doing things earlier, making braking smoother and more gradual.
- If you get stuck in a traffic jam, switch your engine off while you wait.
- Stick to the speed limit. This offers a fair compromise between economy and getting somewhere efficiently. There’s a significant saving made by doing 70 instead of 80, as well as avoiding any risk of speeding fines.
- If you are able to do so, use block gear changing (e.g. 2nd to 4th when accelerating, or 5th to 2nd when decelerating). This is more fuel-efficient than working your way through the gears.
- Reverse into parking bays. If you do all the manoeuvring with a hot engine you can drive straight off when you come back and warm the engine up more quickly.
- Check your vehicle regularly to ensure it operates efficiently. In particular, check your tyre tread depth and pressure (tyre pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold, before the air inside them heats up).
- Remove excess weight, including roof racks, car clutter and unnecessary items in the boot. The more weight you carry in the car, the more fuel you’ll consume.”
The Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Examiner, Peter Rodger, explained: “We’ve all got better things to spend our money on than petrol. Green driving can save you up to 15% on your bills, as well as reducing your carbon emissions.”