Rising fuel prices and the cost-of-living crisis mean many of us are looking for ways to save money on petrol and diesel.

Did you know that motorists could be wasting hundreds of pounds each year on fuel simply due to poorly maintained vehicles? It’s estimated that under-inflated tyres, using the wrong motor oil and not looking after your engine could cost motorists an average of nearly £200 a year in excess fuel costs.

In this article, we’ll look at how to avoid wasting fuel with just a few simple tips to help maximise your fuel efficiency and save money.

Avoid sudden acceleration and braking

Driving at high speeds can quickly empty your fuel tank. 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 save on fuel.

Braking 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.

Driving in a more fuel-efficient manner is also known as hypermiling. Discover more about how to increase your fuel efficiency with hypermiling techniques with our dedicated guide.

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 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

Car air conditioning can be a blessing in hot weather, but it also puts additional strain on your engine. So, if you’re stuck in traffic or travelling at slow speeds, then we’d recommend turning off your air con and opening the window as an alternative way to keep cool.

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 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. One of our experts will use a 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 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, consider if riding a bike or walking could be more efficient for shorter trips.

An e-bike is an excellent 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 your number of trips.

Make the best use of your car’s dedicated features

Some vehicles 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, use brake power regeneration systems on the highest mode possible to maximise the car’s ability to run on battery power, saving fuel.

And there you have our top tips for how to save money on fuel. In just a few simple steps, you can maximise your fuel efficiency and save yourself up to £200 a year on fuel costs.

Be sure to keep an eye out for further tips on how to save money on motoring costs and remember that Halfords.com is here to support you with all your motoring and cycling needs.