8 top fuel tips which could save you over £360 a year 

Warranty Direct research shows how you can drive more economically and save money on fuel 

Over the past seven months petrol has increased by 10% and diesel 11% with current prices some of the highest we’ve seen since the summer of 2014.

In a recent Warranty Direct study we found the UK is in the top 15% for highest global fuel costs, with rates averaging at  $1.71 per litre.

With these latest statistics in mind, Warranty Direct has put together the best ways to increase fuel economy to save yourself over a whopping £360 a year.

Problem Solution Money saved per year
Varying speed increasing fuel use by 20% Consistent cruise £67.79
Speeding can increase fuel use by 25% Stick to speed limits £27.87
Not paying attention to fuel consumption displays can increase fuel use by 15% Being more vigilant with checks and knowing the correct sums to work out fuel economy £79.62
Using gears incorrectly can add 15% to your fuel bill Tailoring your gears to your speed £78.22
Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by 3% Regularly checking and filling your tyres with air £15.64
Roof racks can affect fuel consumption by 10% Remove whenever not using £52.15
Keeping air con running too much can affect fuel consumption by up to 10% Try not to use air con while driving at motorway speeds or in stop and start traffic £30.11
“Warming up” your vehicle during colder winter months Invest in some decent de-icer and try to drive off straight away (as long as it’s safe) £10 (minimum)
TOTAL SAVED £361.40

Top tip #1 Consistent cruise

Tests have shown varying your speed up and down between 75 and 85 km per hour can increase your fuel use by 20%.

Major roads make up 65% of total road traffic in Great Britain and if you factor in the average mileage a year, (5,104 miles) you could save around £67.79 each year, by adapting your driving style.

As you get to know your vehicle, you’ll be able to tell what certain speeds feel and sound like without having to look at the speedometer too much, and you’ll adjust your foot on the pedal more naturally.

But especially when you’re first learning (and don’t have cruise control) you’ll need to glance at the dashboard every so often, to make sure you’re not speeding up or slowing down.

Top tip #2 Stick to the speed limits

Speed limits are maximum, not recommended speeds. You should constantly assess how fast is safe while you are driving and make adjustments accordingly.

Cruising at 70 mph uses up 25% less fuel than 80mph and as UK motorways make up nearly a quarter of all roads, maintaining the correct speed limits could save you up to £27.87 per year in fuel costs.

Try staying in the lower gears for longer before changing up. This cuts down on your potential to speed and won’t harm your car’s gearbox, transmission or engine.

Top tip #3 Check your fuel consumption

Many drivers consume 15% less fuel by acting on the feedback that fuel consumption displays provide. It might seem pretty minor, but being more diligent could save you a whopping £79.62 a year.

To keep on top of this, you need to know the equation for fuel consumption is “miles driven divided by amount of petrol used.” If you know the distance you drove and how many litres fill in your tank, you can simply divide the miles by the fuel.

You can do this every time you fill your tank if you want create a long-term record of your fuel usage.

Top tip #4 Drive in the correct gear

To get the best out of your engine when driving in different road, traffic and weather conditions, you need to be able to change to the most appropriate gear at the right time.

The best way to determine when to change gears in a manual car is to listen to the sound of the engine. The more you practise, the more familiar with it you’ll become.

When it sounds like it’s starting to work too hard or it’s starting to make a loud roaring sound, it’s time to change up gears. If the engine is starting to struggle and is making a lower sound after you’ve slowed down, then you need to change down gears.

Correct use of gears can make huge savings on your fuel bill of up to 15%, around £78.22 per year.

Top tip #5 Check your tyres

An under-inflated tyre can increase fuel consumption by 3%. Michelin and Kwik Fit claims 4/10 cars have at least one under-inflated tyre, so for 40% of drivers it could save them £15.64 per year.

Tyre manufacturers and road safety organisations recommend drivers perform checks of vehicle tyres at least once a month.

The vehicle handbook, or user manual, will detail the correct air pressures to be used in your car’s size tyres.

Remember, if you are driving the car with a full complement of luggage and people, or intend to carry heavy loads or tow, tyres will need to be inflated to a higher air pressure than they would during normal driving conditions.

Top tip #6 Streamline

A roof rack, even unused, adds wind resistance to a car, increasing drag and making the engine work harder. It can also affect fuel consumption by up to 10%. So, try not to leave your roof rack on your car all year round and only use when necessary and save yourself up to £52.15 per year.

Top tip #7 Turn off air con at lower speeds

At motorway speeds, air con can affect fuel consumption by up to 4% and up to 10% in stop and start traffic. So, leaving your air con on all the time could cost you around £30.11 each year.

Top tip #8 Don’t ‘warm up’ the engine

When starting on those cold mornings, don’t leave your car running to warm it up. It causes unnecessary engine wear, as well as wasting fuel. Instead invest in some decent de-icer and try to drive off straight away – so long as you can see where you are going!

Leaving your car running will cost between a minimum of £10-15 each year.

Simon Ackers, CEO, Warranty Direct commented on the latest findings:

“At a time when fuel prices are rising and Christmas is fast approaching, we think it’s important to make motorists aware of some of the best ways to drive more economically and save money.

“Our tips show there are lots of ways to reduce fuel consumption, both by using new technology and by modifying everyday driving habits.

“If eco-driving becomes the norm, it has potential to drastically decrease emissions, boost road safety and mean less wear and tear on your vehicle.”

ENDS