How to use less fuel when driving

With fuel prices reaching record levels, it’s worth looking at ways to use less fuel as we drive around on our day-to-day journeys.

Firstly, is driving at 56mph the best speed to do? The 56mph value came purely from fuel consumption tests, in a city, at 56mph, and at 75mph as well. Of course, the most efficient would be 56mph, but it does depend on the type of car. The RAC says 45-50mph is actually the most efficient.

One true urban legend is that your air conditioner uses extra fuel because your car has to use extra energy to run it. In fact, it can up your consumption by 10%.

So, you roll down your window and now you’re increasing drag on your vehicle which will put up your fuel consumption by around 10% because the engine has to work harder. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation.

One useful technology being fitted to many new cars is the stop/start option. If you come to a stop and the car senses no movement and no accelerator input from you, it temporarily turns the engine off. This can save you up to 8% fuel on a typical journey, but obviously only works in traffic-heavy situations.

Cruise control is an effective way to reduce fuel costs because it smooths out your speed overall, but is only really useful at higher speeds on a motorway.

Ensure your tyre pressures are always correct. It’s worth checking the PSI on a monthly basis as too little pressure means you will be using more fuel.

Remove any unnecessary weight. We’re all guilty of leaving things in the boot or on the back seat, but this is all weight we don’t need. The more weight, the harder the engine has to work, and the more fuel it uses.

Roger Eddowes
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Roger Eddowes

Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts & Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014. Roger loves ‘getting his hands dirty’, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Using an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions, he has been called a Business Godparent due to his caring, hands-on approach.