The prices for petrol and diesel are always going up. Fuel price wars between supermarkets may have led to small cuts in recent weeks, but the current price of petrol is still deemed too high and unjustified by not just the drivers paying the price but experts throughout the motoring industry. The average driver spends £89.67 on petrol every month. Whilst the record high cost of owning a car is cut when hiring a vehicle, the price of fuel is one that cannot be avoided. There are however a number of ways that you can save fuel on journeys long and short…
1. Alter your driving style
As drivers we all have our quirky little habits, but the way you drive does in fact affect the fuel economy of each and every journey you take. Hard braking and acceleration are just two of the ways drivers end up spending more time and money at the pump. Traffic management tools like speed bumps make driving with fuel saving in mind difficult, but altering your driving style when encountering these and other objects and hazards is important. With speed bumps, driving at a steady speed of 15 to 20mph is the best route to preventing your vehicle from drinking fuel. Resist the urge to speed up between speed bumps and braking for each one.
Gear changes impact fuel economy too. Driving in a higher gear lowers the engine speed to make the vehicle more fuel efficient, a fact that makes knowing when to change gear vital. Make sure you change gear in good time also, particularly when pulling off or accelerating. Your rev counter should never hit zero when driving.
2. Watch your speed
Speed demons beware, you’re using lots more fuel than individuals who take a more relaxed approach to driving. Sticking to the speed limit generally keeps your vehicle as economical as it can be, with drivers reaching illegal speeds of 75mph or above paying the price. High speeds equal high revs, which will take you out of the highly fuel economical 2,000 to 2,500 revolutions per minute (rpm) bracket. The Department for Transport (DfT) found that those driving at 70mph use up to 9% more fuel than those driving at 60mph.
3. Know when to air condition
With summer in full swing and temperatures soaring, many of us will be making good use of our car’s air conditioning systems. Knowing when to use your air conditioning is the key to keeping fuel saving high on your agenda. Those driving around town at relatively steady speeds will enjoy better fuel economy and a cooler car by winding their windows down and keeping the air con switched off. At low speeds, use of air conditioning increases fuel consumption by up to 7%. Studies have shown however that cars travelling at faster speeds, see little difference in terms of fuel use when switching their air conditioning on or relying on open windows.
4. Keep it light
Lightening the load of your vehicle is important, particularly when it comes to keeping it as aerodynamic as possible. The greater the wind resistance, the higher the fuel consumption so don’t treat your vehicle like a dumping ground. Roof racks and boxes are handy for increasing the storage capacity of a vehicle but make sure you remove these when not in use. A roof rack or box can increase fuel consumption by 20% over the course of a year.
5. Give your car some love
A well-maintained car not only runs better, it uses less fuel. Unfortunately, many of us neglect the maintenance of our own vehicle, but a well-tuned engine and correctly inflated tyres can make all the difference to the amount of fuel you use. Here at Collison Vehicle Rental, we make sure that all the vehicles we hire out are well maintained and fully serviced. The efficiency of our vehicles is particularly high as a result, meaning lower fuel costs for our customers.
Find out more about our vehicle rental options today by browsing our website or getting in touch with our team.