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Saving Energy & Money with Fuel-Efficient Driving

Several people at work may have done their bit for the environment by ditching their cars in a morning and hopping on their bicycles, but for many this simply isn’t an option. It’s time-consuming, unpractical and not everyone has the energy to jump back on their bike after a hard days slog at work! So, how can you get more for your money for your petrol and do a little bit for the environment?

Evidently, what car you are driving will make a significant difference, if you have a ‘green’ or ‘eco’ car then you’ve probably noticed the difference already, particularly when it comes to your car tax. However, no matter what car you are driving there are some simple tips that you could adopt into your drive that could save you money, particularly in the long run.

We all have our own driving techniques, all think we can drive better than our other-half, but with rising fuel prices it’s perhaps time to call truce and start adopting some of the following techniques. While you may not see the benefits straight away (this is not going to cut your car fuel bill in half) it should help save you money on every litre of fuel that you are consuming. In fact, these simple tips won’t just reduce your fuel consumption but they’ll help to reduce the carbon emissions from your car and its overall wear and tear.

Tips for when you’re driving.

Downhill / slowing down

If you’re cruising downhill or to a stop, take your foot off the accelerator while doing so but still remain in gear. This cuts the flow of fuel to the engine, and if you have a more modern car, this could potentially lower the fuel use to almost zero.

Revving your engine

Try not to rev your engine excessively, if you opt to change gear at around 2000-2500rpm this will help increase the efficiency of your car and reduce friction in the engine.

Switching your engine off

This isn’t recommended for brief stops at traffic lights or momentary traffic queues, but if you are going to be stopped for several minutes and it is safe to do so – turn off your car engine. In a lot of modern cars, the fuel usage is next-to-none when turning your engine back on, but this will also save fuel in most old cars too.

Slowing down

We spend most of our lives in a rush, but by just taking a little extra time you could save a lot of fuel, particularly on your longer journeys. By driving at 70mph as opposed to 85mph (which is also against the law!) you could save around 25% in fuel consumption. So, schedule for your journey to take a little bit longer and save money on fuel, particularly if you’re traveling quite a distance.

Smooth driving

If you can anticipate in advance when you will need to break / slow down or increase your speed, then do so in good time to avoid sharp breaking or sudden acceleration. This will help significantly with the wear and tear of your car as well as fuel consumption when you do set off again.

Warm Engines

Don’t waste fuel by turning your car on before you start your journey; in the majority of modern cars today, this doesn’t benefit the engine and is just a waste of fuel.

Air conditioning

Using air conditioning in your car does use more fuel but you may be interested to know that if you chose to open a window in your car while driving at high speed, you would use more fuel than if you had the window closed and the air conditioning on! However, if it isn’t warm and you don’t necessarily need it on, do turn your air conditioning off or opt for the ‘eco’ setting of your climate control if you can and this will save fuel.

Tyre pressures

In a lot of cases this tip is a job we know we should be doing but simply don’t have enough time or it gets forgotten amongst the chaos of everyday life. However, by finding time to check your tyres are in good shape you could save yourself a lot of garage and fuel bills in the future. Try to check your tyres at least once a month, particularly if you are going on long journeys as increased fuel consumption and dangers can arise if your tyres are under-inflated.

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