Tips On How To Save Petrol And Diesel

Every driver wants to know how to save petrol or diesel. Because doing so saves you money and means you have more to spend on the things you want to, like holidays, or a better vehicle. 

That’s why we’ve created this guide to give you some top tips on how to reduce your fuel costs and consumption. Spending a little time reading it could bring you some big savings

All you need to do is read our tips and then put them into practice. 

Plan your journeys before you set off 

There’s no argument that planning your journey before you get into your vehicle goes a long way to solving the problem of how to save petrol or diesel. 

The longer your journeys are the more fuel you use, and the less clear you are on how to get to your destination, the more likely it is that you’ll take a wrong turn. When that happens it prolongs your journeys. 

So plan your journeys before you set off if you want a cost-free way to save petrol or diesel – it really is that simple.

Avoid rush hour traffic and congestion

No one likes to be stuck in traffic jams. They make you late for meetings or social occasions and are boring to boot. But that’s not the only bad thing about them. Traffic jams can also hugely impact the efficiency of your driving, increasing vehicle wear and tear, as well as how much you spend on petrol or diesel.

There are tools and applications available which can help you avoid traffic jams, such as e-route. The main function of these mapping tools are to help drivers locate the nearest fuel station which will accept their business fuel card. However, additional features also allow drivers to see real-time traffic congestion.

Avoiding congested roads is certainly preferable, but sometimes it isn’t always possible. If you do find yourself in a jam, the best thing to do is to pay attention to the traffic ahead. Stopping and starting uses a huge amount of fuel, so leave plenty of room and travel at a steady slow speed, rather than accelerating and braking which uses a lot of fuel.

Make your vehicle more aerodynamic

The ‘drag’, or air resistance, on your vehicle can increase your petrol or diesel consumption; the more aerodynamic your vehicle, the easier it will travel and the less fuel it will use. 

This won’t matter so much while driving through towns and cities as you don’t travel as fast, but when you are out on the open road, along highways and motorways, there are things you can do to combat drag.

Simple actions like closing windows and sunroofs can help, and removing any roof attachments such as ladder-racks. If you must use roof attachments, make sure they are fitted correctly and opt for the most streamlined option possible to help minimise wind resistance.

Ease off the accelerator

More revs equal more petrol or diesel as does frequent harsh braking. Adopting safer driver habits can help you avoid unnecessary acceleration, and reduce wasted fuel. 

If you see traffic stoppages ahead, take your foot off the accelerator and drop gears as the vehicle slows. Once things begin moving you can get back to cruising speed while the car is still moving, which uses far less petrol than stopping and then starting again.

Only use cruise control on flat surfaces 

Cruise control is one tactic used by drivers exploring how to save petrol or diesel on their journeys. This reduces the amount of fuel your vehicle uses by helping it maintain a steady speed. 

But this only works if you use cruise control on flat surfaces. If you use it during bumpy, country drives then it will actually cause you to use more petrol or diesel. 

This means that you can use cruise control but that you’re best advised to do so when you’re driving on a motorway. 

Practice anticipation driving at all times 

What’s anticipation driving and how does it save petrol or diesel? It’s a good question and has a simple answer, one that’s relevant to every single vehicle owner. 

It’s keeping your eyes on the road and anticipating your speed changes. The reason this helps preserve your fuel is that you don’t put stress on the engine by accelerating on breaking when you don’t need to. 

Keep the air-con to a minimum 

You know yourself that your vehicle’s air conditioning burns petrol or diesel. It’s powered by your engine and this operates by using fuel. The same thing is also true for your radiator. 

So, it’s pretty straightforward – if you want to cut down on the amount of petrol or diesel you use then choose your moments for using your air-con and heater wisely.

Two women sitting in a car

Credit: Flickr

Combine your journeys with other drivers 

What’s the single biggest drain on your fuel? It’s really easy, it’s driving. Now, this may be obvious but it’s the truth and what’s also true is that if you want to spend less on petrol or diesel then it pays to carshare whenever possible. 

The obvious way of doing this is on work journeys. This comes with the added bonus of being able to use carpool lanes, meaning you can also save money on petrol or diesel because you spend less time stuck in traffic. 

Reduce the loads you carry in your vehicle 

Reducing the amount of weight in your car is a really easy way to lower the amount of petrol or diesel it uses. The more weight you have in your car the harder its engine has to work and more work means more fuel burned. 

One of the best ways to reduce the loads you carry in your car is to be smarter about how you do your weekly shop. Switching to online shopping reduces the weight in your car for that journey by 100%.

It also has the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. Why? Because the delivery person will be delivering shopping for many people, so there are fewer car journeys made overall. 

Look after your vehicle’s battery

You might think that your vehicle battery runs independently from your fuel consumption, after all, it’s not like the Energizer bunny runs off petrol or diesel. 

But your battery does have an impact on how much petrol or diesel you use and looking after it helps make savings on how much you use. 

If your battery isn’t charged properly then your vehicle’s fuel injectors won’t put fuel into its cylinders as efficiently as they should. This causes you to get fewer miles per gallon than if your battery is well maintained, with a healthy charge. 

Be sure to use the right fuel when you can 

Yes, the petrol or diesel you put in your bike, car, van, or lorry makes a difference. It’s not simply that some fuels cost more than other options because it’s a fancy brand, it’s also because it’s more efficient. 

It might not sound sensible to suggest you spend more on fuel when you’re wondering how to save petrol or diesel, but it does make sense. 

Supermarket fuel is of lower quality than brands like Esso, Shell, or Texaco. Research has shown that it has an inferior economy to big brand alternatives, so you actually end up getting less out of the petrol or diesel you buy from ASDA, for example. 

Check your tyre pressure regularly 

You depend on your tyres as much as you do on your petrol or diesel to keep your car going. Your tyres depend on you to maintain them and if they don’t then their punishment is to increase your fuel consumption. 

If your tyres are below the required pressure then they can’t crip the road properly. Not only does this mean that you lose up to 3% of your fuel economy, but it also makes your vehicle less safe to drive. So, check your tyre pressure if you want to save petrol or diesel and be a safer driver. 

Change gear earlier 

Changing gear is one of the first things you’re taught as a driver. Changing gear early makes for a smoother, more comfortable drive. But one thing you might not have been told in your lessons is that this is a textbook case for how to save petrol or diesel. 

It’s textbook because there are literally books out there that explain why changing gear helps fuel consumption. 

Whichever one you choose to refer to, they’ll all say the same thing; the lower the gear you’re in, the greater the rpm. This means your engine produces more torque and consumes more diesel or petrol. 

Get your vehicle serviced 

Not all savings come without a cost, some demand you to be smarter with your money. And that’s why one example of how to save petrol or diesel is to invest in regular services for your vehicle.

It’s not good enough to just lean on your MOT. That test is about keeping your car road safe, not maximising its efficiency. Services can flag issues with your efficiency, including how it burns fuel. 

Make it a thing to have a regular service and you’ll find that it could pay for itself by cutting the amount you spend on petrol or diesel in the long run. 

Use fuel cards to get deals on petrol & diesel 

Do you love a discount? Of course you do, and that means you’ll be happy to get one for your petrol and diesel. How can you get this discount? By selecting an appropriate fuel card. 

Fuel cards are like credit cards for diesel and petrol, except that they have the added bonus of potentially giving you access to cheaper fuel. 

While every fuel card has plenty of benefits for drivers, not all of them offer discounted diesel and petrol. This means it’s a good idea to use a comparison tool to help you find the right option for you. 

You can put your details into the iCompario fuel card comparison tool and it will find you the card that matches your unique needs. Try it out now and see what petrol and diesel discounts you could get. 

Now you have plenty of great examples of how to save petrol or diesel. So, next time you’re thinking of using your vehicle, remember our advice and use it to reduce your fuel cost and consumption.