With rising energy bills, increasing inflation and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, we’re all searching for ways to make our pennies stretch that little bit further.
In this new series, we’re going to look at how you can save money in the areas of motoring and cycling. And with fuel prices rocketing, the cost of filling up your car seemed like a suitable place to start.
Here are some tips to help you make your fuel last longer, so that you can really get the most out of the money you put into your fuel tank.
Watch your speed and avoid sudden acceleration or braking
Driving at high speeds empties the fuel tank in no time. If you regularly drive over 65mph, you’ll be burning excess fuel as your car works harder to fight drag. Driving at lower speeds is a simple way you can help to save fuel.
Braking or accelerating sharply is another way to burn through fuel quickly. The harder you press the pedals, the more fuel you use, so aim for smooth braking and accelerating to get the best miles per gallon.
Check your tyre pressure
Having underinflated tyres is not only unsafe, but could also be costing you a small fortune in fuel. This is because the lower your tyre pressure, the more fuel your car will need to use to push them around. Keeping them inflated to the recommended level will not only benefit you in terms of safety and fuel consumption, but it’ll also help to maximise their lifespan.
If you’d like a helping hand with the task then our 10 Point Car Health Check is a great place to start. The check covers a lot of the areas that’ll help to improve fuel economy and emissions performance, such as tyre pressure, oil levels and AdBlue levels (for diesel cars).
Clear your boot and roof
Your boot and roof make excellent additional storage spaces, and we’re a big fan of adding a roof box or bike rack to really make the most of your car’s carrying capacity. Having said that, it can be a good idea to remove them when they’re not in use as the excess weight and greater wind drag can make your car less fuel efficient.
Regulate your air con use
Air conditioning can be a blessing in hot weather, but it also puts an additional strain on your engine. So if you’re stuck in traffic or travelling at slow speeds, then we’d recommend flicking that air con button off and opening the window to keep the car cool instead. Another option is to make use of the air recirculation button, as this recirculates the already cooled air in the car and saves the air con from having to bring in new hot air and cooling it.
Conversely, if you’re travelling at high speeds then it’s better to have the window closed and the air con on as this will reduce drag and improve the overall aerodynamics of your car.
Use a fuel cleaner
A fuel cleaner will help your car to run more efficiently by removing carbon deposits from the engine and fuel system. This improves engine performance and fuel efficiency, while reducing harmful exhaust emissions.
You can either pick up a DIY fuel system cleaner or take advantage of our fuel efficiency pack. Here we use a special, non-invasive procedure to clean and remove contaminants from your engine and fuel system, leaving you with a cleaner, greener and more fuel-efficient car.
Plan your route ahead of the journey
If you’ve got a long drive ahead, have a look online to see which route is the most fuel-efficient (it might not be the one you expect). Also think about the time of day you travel to avoid traffic or rush hour periods like the school run or peak commuting times.
Consider alternative transport methods
While there will be plenty of times that driving is necessary, it’s worth considering investing in a bike for shorter trips or just walking instead. An e-bike is a particularly good choice for commuting as it’s cost-efficient and comes with a whole host of health benefits – you can find out more in our article on How an e-bike can save you money.
If the journey is too long to walk or cycle, you could look into car-sharing options to cut down on the number of trips you’re making.
Make the best use of your car’s dedicated features
Some cars come with features that are designed to help you maximise your fuel economy. ECO driving modes and start/stop functionality are just a couple of these, so try to make sure you’ve got them activated.
If you’re driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, then use any brake power regeneration systems on the highest mode possible to maximise the car’s ability to run on battery power, saving fuel.
We hope these tips help you to reduce the time (and money!) you spend at the pump and make your fuel go further.
Be sure to keep an eye out for further top tips in the months to come and remember that Halfords.com is here to support you with all your motoring and cycling needs.