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Driving faster puts pressure on your cars engine and it has to work harder for long periods of time. For example, the AA estimate that dropping from 80mph to 70mph could save you 25% more fuel and it probably won’t get you there any slower either – if you were to drive 60 miles at 70mph (the whole way) it would take you 51 mins and 26 seconds. Driving at 80mph would take you 45 mins. This doesn’t take into account any obstacles or slowing down on the journey so in the real world, the time difference would be even smaller. Get there 6 minutes faster or save 25% of your fuel cost?
Another benefit to keeping to the speed limit is your stopping time. At 80mph, you would need 120 metres to stop (this is 30 car lengths!), but at 70mph you would need 96 metres, a difference of 25% - this could potentially save yours and others lives in an accident
Constant braking and accelerating wears your tyres and brake pads down quicker, increasing your maintenance cost, as well as using more fuel. Keep a safe distance from the car in front and anticipate what other drivers might do in front of you, giving you more time to react.
If driving around town, open the windows instead to save on fuel costs. Your car works surprisingly hard to keep the air cool and with it, eats more fuel. At higher speeds, be aware that using A/C is preferable to opening your windows due to air drag which will increase your fuel consumptionThe magic speed for deciding which method you should use to keep cool? 45mph – if you are driving below this, use your windows, above use the air con
This one may seem an obvious one, but it really helps! Anything we can do to have less cars on the road is a good thing, not only for the environment, but also for your pocket. Whenever possible, share a lift with a colleague, friend or family member and leave the car at home. You’re not spending anything when you’re not driving it!
Idling engines consumes fuel and damages the environment. If you are stationary for any length of time, turn your engine off, then restart when you need to move off again.
When in traffic or at lights, just use the start/stop function if you have it
Carrying excess weight in your car, which includes roof racks and rails is increasing your fuel consumption. If you don’t need it, get it out the car
You should aim to have annual alignment checks as bad wheel alignment can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10%, plus it will wear your tyres out more quickly, costing you more in the long run.
Another thing to check is tyre balancing (to make sure the tyre is spinning evenly around the axle) as this can cause uneven wear on the tyre. Get your wheel balance checked every time you change a tyre.
Cruise control keeps your car at a constant speed which saves fuel consumption as you are not unnecessarily accelerating/decelerating, both of which use fuel. Make sure you are only using it on motorways though, as using it on other roads can use more fuel, not less
This is the same theory as keeping roof racks and boxes on your car when you’re not using them. Having the window open at high speeds increases the drag on your car which in turn increases fuel consumption as your car is having to work harder to maintain speed. As mentioned earlier, if you are travelling at above 45mph, close the windows and use the air con.
Tyre pressure should be checked regularly, and especially before long journeys. An under inflated tyre means there is more surface area on the road, which means more drag on the wheel. Just 10 PSI under the level advised in your owner’s manual can mean an increased fuel consumption of 2.5%
16th of January 2020
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