How to reduce your fuel costs – 10 tips from an expert

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How much money you spend on fuel depends on how often you drive, what kind of driver you are, what car you have, the condition of your car, and a whole load of things. Luckily for you, the majority of the factors determining how much you spend on fuel are controllable. Express.co.uk chatted to Car Lease Special Offers to find out how to reduce fuel consumption and save money.

Even though the pandemic has dramatically reduced the frequency of our trips out of the house, our cars are still costing us money.

While we might not be able to cut down our insurance payments, fuel is still one cost that we’d all like to slash.

Will Bullen of Car Lease Special Offers said: “We know a lot of people are looking to save money right now and there are some simple hacks that are a great way to cut costs at the petrol pump.

“Small adjustments can have a positive impact on both your fuel consumption and bank balance.”

Avoid Idling

Idling is when you leave your engine running while the vehicle isn’t moving, but you’re still burning fuel.

To save money, you should avoid idling as much as possible.

The experts at Car Lease Special Offers said: “If you are in slow-moving or stop-start traffic, consider putting your hand brake on and turning your engine off.

“Same applies when picking someone up or dropping someone off – consider shutting off the engine if you are stopped for a long period.

“If you have a modern car with stop-start technology then use this, it will automatically reduce the time you spend with an idling engine if used correctly.”

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Keep to the speed limit

We don’t have to tell you all the reasons why speeding is bad, this habit could cost you, other drivers and pedestrians their lives.

Speeding is not only a threat to everyone on the road, it can also increase your fuel consumption.

The experts at Car Lease Special Offers said: “Keep to the speed limits and use cruise control if your car has this function to maintain a steady speed.

“It’s recommended you set your cruise control a few miles below the actual speed limit in case your odometer is slightly off.”

Watch the weight of your vehicle

The heavier your vehicle the more fuel it will take to move it, so don’t lug around heavy items all the time.

The experts advised: “Remove unnecessary weight when you can e.g. removing roof boxes, bike racks and excess luggage from the vehicle when they are not needed.”

Accelerate and Brake Smoothly

How smoothly you drive an impact on your fuel consumption, so try not to make any rapid movements.

Car Lease Special Offers’ experts said: “Harsh acceleration and braking use a lot of engine power, which uses more fuel. One way in which you can avoid the need for harsher acceleration and braking is by anticipating the traffic ahead.

“If you’re on a road that you know has several traffic lights over a short distance or in a long queue of traffic, rather than stopping and starting, try travelling at a lower speed.

“This keeps your vehicle rolling and removes the constant stopping and starting that you might otherwise use.”

Make combined journeys

Instead of driving to a destination and driving home again before going back out, try and combine all your journeys into one.

The experts explained: “A hot engine is a more efficient one because your battery works better in warmer conditions.

“One way that you can improve your overall fuel economy is by combining several smaller trips into one long journey.”

Make sure you regularly service your vehicle
Any machine, from your phone to your kitchen appliances, will be less energy efficient if it is not properly maintained.

The same is true for your car – regular maintenance and servicing on your vehicle ensures it stays in the best condition possible and this helps your fuel consumption.

The experts said: “We recommend ensuring the vehicle is serviced in line with the manufacturer guidelines and any maintenance work is completed as soon as possible.”

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Check your tyre pressure

One check you should do more regularly to keep you safe on the roads and reduce fuel consumption is to check the tyre pressure.

The experts said: “This is because tyres that are not inflated to the correct level can reduce your fuel economy by as much as five percent.

“We recommend if you are driving a lot that you check your tyre pressure around once a month.”

Shut your windows

You don’t need to open your car windows all the time, especially if the weather isn’t too hot.

Keeping your windows down eats away at your fuel, so try to avoid doing this where possible.

The team at Car Lease Special Offers said: “The more aerodynamic your car is the better the fuel economy will be. Having your windows open increases drag on the vehicle and creates stronger wind resistance.

“In general, having your windows open at lower speeds doesn’t have a massive impact but if you are driving over 40mph we recommend closing the windows.”

Turn off the air conditioning

Using your air conditioning, or heating on colder days, requires engine power so will have an impact on your fuel consumption, the experts explained.

They said: “This is especially true if you are travelling at low speeds.

“If it is a particularly warm day, we recommend using the air conditioning on a low setting over opening the window, as the effect on your fuel consumption is less.”

Make sure your air filters aren’t dirty

You need to keep your car air filters clean to avoid wasting fuel.

The experts said: “Dirty air filters cause your engine to work harder than it has too, which means more fuel is used.

“You should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to change these as needed to help boost your fuel economy.”

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