What will reduce fuel consumption?
The price of fuel might be going up, but there are ways to get your fuel usage down. Drivers looking to reduce their fuel costs can take extra steps to be more efficient on the road. These are some of the best ways to reduce your fuel consumption and save money.
1. Replace your old spark plugs
Bad spark plugs can reduce your fuel efficiency by 30%. If you want to save on fuel, replacing your spark plugs really is worth it. If your spark plugs misfire, they can cause even more issues. If your car is suddenly using a lot more fuel, take it to the mechanic. Your spark plugs could be broken.
2. Clean up your air filters
This is an easy step for every driver to take to help reduce their fuel consumption. Air filters can trap dirt and dust. The dirtier your air filters are, the more work your engine has to put in.
3. Don’t stay idle
Staying idle has the worst MPG because you’re staying at 0 while using up fuel. It’s fine to stay idle if it’s only for a few moments, but if you want to really reduce your fuel consumption, you’ll turn off your engine rather than wait around idle.
4. Use vehicle tracking
For fleet managers, vehicle tracking is a great way to find places to cut down on fuel. Without it, you don’t really know how much fuel your fleet is using exactly. On the vehicle tracking system, you can sort by fuel usage to find out how much fuel each vehicle is using, driver speeds, route plans for lower fuel, and more.
Fleet managers should strongly consider vehicle tracking for all the benefits of accurate milage recording and information on each driver’s style.
5. Know when to use cruise control
Cruise control settings work best on totally flat roads, like the motorway. If you put your car into top gear and cruise along the motorway, you’ll reduce your fuel consumption. But if you use cruise control in the city or country lanes, you’ll end up using more fuel. Cruise control is a handy tool for certain situations, but it’s not a Swiss army knife to use on every road.
6. Check tyre pressure
Tyre pressure affects your fuel consumption. If your tyres are uninflated, they will increase drag. Most of the time, you won’t be able to tell just by looking if your tyres are underinflated so it’s best to get them checked. One study found that underinflation of the tyre by 10% increases fuel consumption by 2%.
7. Avoid short trips
Yes, driving less does reduce your fuel consumption. But did you know that short drives aren’t fuel efficient? Journeys of about 3 – 5 miles (4.8 – 8 km) don’t give your engine enough time to warm up properly, so you end up using more fuel than you think.
8. Change up your route
Your everyday driving route might be the fastest, but it could be using up more fuel than you think. If you hit a lot of traffic lights or hills, a different route might reduce your fuel consumption even if it’s longer. Try out a different route for a week and see how your fuel usage changes.
9. Take out the trash
Extra weight can increase your fuel consumption. Carrying heavy weight like luggage is when you’ll most notice this but cleaning out your car can help to make a difference too. Hey, every little bit helps!
10. Keep those windows closed on the motorway
No one wants to drive on a hot summer’s day without some relief. But should you open the windows or use aircon? Opening the windows when you’re at high speeds can increase your fuel usage but about 20%. If you’re driving over 45 mph, we recommend keeping your windows closed. If you’re under 45 mph, opening the windows is better than turning on your aircon.
Unfortunately, turning on the aircon does increase your fuel consumption by around 10%. It’s still better than opening your windows at high speeds, but over time it will increase into your fuel consumption. Try switching off the aircon when you can to make your fuel last longer.
11. Get a fuel-efficient vehicle
Fuel-efficient vehicles use less fuel per mile than others, so you don’t have to refill as often. The electric car Tesla Model 3 RWD is the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market with an MPG of 132. Read our guide on the best fuel consumption cars to find the best one for you.
Not interested in an electric vehicle? Hybrid cars also tend to use less fuel per mile, like the Hyundai Ioniq Blue which has an MPG of 59. In general, bigger vehicles like trucks and vans have lower fuel efficiency.
Fuel-efficient vehicles do tend to be more expensive. That initial cost can be off-putting, but they offer savings in the long term. If you’d like a fuel-efficient vehicle for your business, vehicle hire could be the solution you need. Vehicle hire avoids the high cost of purchasing and gives you higher flexibility.
12. Check out different petrol stations
Some stations sell fuel at lower prices than others. According to the PRA, over 40% of petrol and diesel sold in the UK comes from supermarket stations. Supermarket fuel is usually the cheapest around, but there’s still a big number of drivers who prefer branded fuel.
Fuel cards can offer your business more savings. Sole traders can get a fuel card too. Supermarkets like Tesco and Morrisons accept fuel cards at their stations. Prefer branded fuel? Major brands like Shell, Esso, BP, Texaco and more offer fuel cards. Which fuel card is right for your business will depend on your fuel needs.Wherever you fill up, shopping around can get you a better deal.
13. Get streamlined
Sometimes when you’re travelling you don’t have enough room in the trunk, so you out your things on top of your car. It’s convenient. But it’s not streamlined, and it makes your fuel run out faster. If you can, get everything inside your vehicle. Pulling things behind, like a caravan, makes you use up your fuel faster too, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your next trip.
14. Go for your check-ups
Just like not going to the dentist has consequences, ignoring your mechanic has consequences for your car. If you notice that your vehicle is chugging down the fuel at an unusually high rate, it’s time to go to the mechanic.
15. Using the right gear
If your engine starts kicking up a fuss, you’re probably using the wrong gear. Being in the wrong gear means your vehicle has to work harder to keep moving. You’ll want to make sure you’re in the right gear to get the highest fuel efficiency possible.
16. Drive carefully
Good driving habits can help to improve your fuel efficiency. Avoid hitting down hard on the accelerator and braking late. Driving at high speeds also increases your fuel consumption. After about 60 mph, your fuel efficiency drops a lot. Unless you’re on the motorway, you’ll want to avoid higher speeds.
17. Keep it smooth on the accelerator
When is fuel consumption at its highest? When you use the accelerator. Keeping a steady speed is way more efficient than keeping your foot on the accelerator. Acceleration takes more fuel because your engine has to put in more work.
Rather than pushing down the on the accelerator, drivers can use gear blocking to reduce fuel consumption. This is only if you have a manual vehicle. One common trick is the shift down from 5th gear to 3rd gear to accelerate and overtake another vehicle. This trick reduces your fuel consumption. While gear blocking is useful in this situation, most of the time you’ll want to simply go through the gears as usual.