With rising fuel costs in the UK, keeping your car on the road is not cheap. At the beginning of December 2018, BBC News reported that the average price of a litre of fuel across the nation stood at around £1.24 for petrol and £1.34 for diesel. So, there’s no better time to look at ways of being more efficient with your vehicle’s fuel usage. Vindis, providers of Audi servicing are here to help with the guide below…
Plan ahead and combine your car journeys, when you can
When you drive a vehicle that has been parked up for a few hours, the engine will be cold and so a lot more fuel will be used for around the first five miles of you heading out onto the road. With this in mind, you should look to drive for as long as possible when the engine is warm instead of conducting several short trips with long gaps in between each one.
Here’s an example: if you do the school run in the morning, have to go to the supermarket for the weekly shop sometime during the day and visit some family, can you not do all three during one stint away from your home?
Be mindful of aerodynamics
More fuel is consumed when your car is subjected to wind resistance. Therefore, it’s best to keep windows and sunroofs closed especially when you’re travelling at high speeds. Make sure to remove roof racks and boxes for storage when they aren’t being used as well — up to 20 per cent fuel can be saved on an annual basis by removing a cargo box from a vehicle’s roof alone!
Those responsible for designing your vehicle will be looking into aerodynamics as they look for ways to reduce the drag that a car possesses, so it makes sense that drivers should be maintaining that aerodynamic design too.
Unnecessary weight increases fuel consumption
The more stuff that you have in your car, the more fuel that’ll be needed to get everything from one place to another — every 50kg increases your fuel consumption by two per cent on average, claims the RAC. With this in mind, regularly look around your vehicle and get rid of the stuff you aren’t using. Will you really be using that set of golf clubs in the middle of winter? Or that pair of cross country running shoes in the middle of summer?
Unless you’re going on a long road trip, fuel economy can also be helped by only filling half your car’s tank with fuel — this substance adds to the weight after all, and you’re not going to need 300+ miles worth of petrol or diesel just to complete a half-hour commute to and from work.
Maintenance checks can help improve fuel economy
By making sure that your car is in tip-top condition, it should be able to get you wherever you need to go while using less fuel. A regular service is highly recommended to achieve the best efficiency, while you need to be always using the correct specification of engine oil too — consult your manufacturer handbook to find the details you need here.
Tyre pressures also need to be checked both on a regular basis and before any long journey, as tyres which are under inflated will force your car into having to use more fuel. Correctly inflated tyres, meanwhile, could improve fuel consumption by up to two per cent in context, according to the RAC.
How smooth is your driving?
You’ll be using less fuel as well if you don’t spend so much of your time behind the wheel braking and then accelerating. Obviously, there will be times when you’ll need to slow your vehicle down — or to a sudden standstill in the event of an emergency — but you should be road savvy enough to be able to approach traffic lights at a gentler pace, for example, or smoothly get up a hill.
Your fuel economy can often be hampered when driving in heavy traffic that keeps on stopping and starting too, so if it’s possible try and get around having to commute in the rush hour. Perhaps you can head to an exercise class or gym that’s near your workplace instead of waiting until you get home, for instance.