How to reduce your vehicles fuel costs


Rising fuel prices are part of every vehicles motoring costs and to help you minimise your fuel bill  we have put together a list of tips for you to try out.

Think about if you need to carry some of the heavy non-essential items everyday in your car, as the more unnecessary weight your vehicle contains the more fuel it will consume at the pumps.

  • Having open windows can cost slightly more than having the cars air conditioning on, but air conditioning will use more power and if you have a small engine it may increase the fuel consumption by up to 10%. In order to keep the system in working order you may also need to run the air conditioning at least once a week.
  • As soon as you can, accelerate smoothly and gently up to a safe, appropriate (and legal) speed and select as high a gear as possible, keeping the revs down to minimise fuel use without labouring the engine. Between short fuel burns to maintain momentum, lift off the accelerator completely, which shuts off the fuel supply. Never coast in neutral; idling uses more fuel than running in gear on a closed throttle. If you’re not moving at all, switch off.
  • Try to use your brakes only when they are really needed as they turn fuel into waste heat. Instead of just driving up to obstructions such as traffic lights on red and braking, firstly lift off the accelerator to reduce your speed and then try to gently roll into the accurate position for your vehicle to come to a halt.
  • Think about your used car costs over benefits before replacing it if it seems to consume a lot of fuel as you may be better off running a used car, and unless you plan to downsize to a smaller car you may be able to run your current vehicle more efficiently or for as long as possible using these fuel saving tips.
  • Check the vehicles manufacturing schedule to determine how often you should get your car serviced. Use the correct engine oil for your cars make and model and make regular checks to the tyres pressure and increase if necessary, especially before any long journeys as they can consume more fuel if under-inflated.
  • You can save money by not choosing to fill up your vehicle with a high performance fuel. There is usually no performance difference unless you have a sports car that recommends you use that type of fuel.
  • Think about if you really need to use your car or can walk instead for any short journeys such as going to the news agents or other nearby places as more fuel is used in a cold start.
  • The faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and pollution. Driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
  • Idling the engine wastes fuel and increases the temperature of the engine. To prevent this only start the engine when you are ready to go. In icy weather scrape the ice off before you start the engine.
  • Turn off any electrical items such as headlights, rear windscreen heaters and demisters when you don’t need them. This will help decrease your vehicles fuel consumption.
  • Supermarkets often run petrol promotions. As their forecourts are usually cheap for fuel (always check), these schemes mean you can make some decent savings. The offers are usually something like “spend £50 and get a 5p off/litre voucher”.

For more helpful articles on car care advice then visit our blog ‘Pitstop’.