Car ownership can already be hideously expensive, even before your fuel costs are considered. There’s the road tax to pay, worn-down tyres need to be replaced and the MOT has to be periodically renewed, too.
But there’s little getting away from the burden that your vehicle’s fuel costs can also represent. Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to reduce what you have to fork out at the pumps.
We mentioned tyres above, and you may not have realised just how big a role they play in the fuel efficiency of your car. If a tyre is flat, more effort is needed for a vehicle to drag it along the road, which is akin to trying to sail a ship with a lowered anchor.
That’s why it’s a good idea to check your tyres’ air pressure whenever the time comes to refuel – if you’re unsure how to do that, consult the handbook for your vehicle, which will also tell you the recommended air pressure.
Even when you need to replace tyres, certain tyres have a higher fuel economy rating than others – as you can learn more about on the National Tyres and Autocare website.
Do you know what else creates drag that equates to higher fuel bills for you? Leaving a roof rack or bike rack on your car unnecessarily, that’s what.
Such items add to the air resistance that your vehicle has to overcome when it’s propelling itself down the road, which forces it to use more fuel.
A less aggressive approach behind the wheel doesn’t just make you safer – it also means that your car sips on, rather than gulps down fuel.
According to The Guardian, the avoidance of sharp braking and acceleration can slash as much as 30% off your fuel expenditure.
The newspaper advises readers to drive smoothly and consistently, largely sticking to higher gears, as well as to reverse into parking spaces instead of driving into them. The latter enables you to drive away smoothly later, instead of having to reverse on a cold engine.
It may sound like an obvious tip, but if you get lost trying to get somewhere and have to reroute, you’ll inevitably end up using more petrol than would have been the case if you had plotted every point of your trip before getting into the car.
Similarly, if you just clamber into your vehicle and drive, you can easily get caught up in traffic jams, especially at busy times such as the after-work rush or when a nearby Premier League football match has just ended.
Cruise control can help to minimise the amount of fuel your car consumes when you are driving on a constant flat surface, such as a motorway.
However, the use of cruise control on non-flat surfaces can actually harm your fuel efficiency. This is due to the way it makes your car slower to react to gradient changes.
for instance, when you reach the brow of a hill – a time when you would ordinarily take your foot off the accelerator to keep your speed constant while descending – cruise control will cause your car to keep the power on for a little longer than necessary.
There’s much more that you can do to minimise your vehicle’s fuel consumption than merely following the above tips. Nonetheless, they should serve as a handy starting point in your wider efforts to save money as a driver – efforts that can also include searching for the ideal car insurance deal with the help of Call Wiser.