How Much Is Your Driving Style Costing You?

How Much Is Your Driving Style Costing You?

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Isn’t the cost of fuel nowadays just unbelievable! When I fill my car up, the fuel’s worth more than the car! Even with the modern new cars that have super fuel efficient engines and cut through the air like a knife through butter, driving around is starting to become a prohibitively expensive thing to do. There has to be a way of getting more out of the petol I put in, make it last longer? Try these top 7 ways of cutting your fuel bill!

1 Decrease your velocity. Slow Down! Not driving as fast as you used to do will have a marked improvement in your fuel consumption. It’s basically down to air. As your vehicle travels through it, the air starts to thicken and it thickens in such a way that the faster you travel the thicker it becomes. You have probably seen this in terms of power. A car twice as powerful as yours will not have a top speed of twice yours. In terms of fuel consumption you can save up to 10% slowing from 65mph to 56mph and upwards of 20% slowing from 85mph back down to the legal motorway speed limit. And you know as well as I do that we will all still arrive at our destinations at the same time!

2 Ditch the roof rack: A full roof rack will lead to you using 5% extra fuel, amazingly, even an empty roof rack can add to a car’s fuel consumption from anywhere between 1-3% depending on how it’s constructed and attached. So if a roof rack is an essential for you, try getting a car where you can remove it when you are not using it.

3 Don’t go: OK not going might defeat the point, but a call or a video conference using the free services available on the internet might do. If not then what about the train, the bus or walking. Public transport has its disadvantages and we all know about them but you can work on a train, read on a bus – public transport gives you time to think.

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4 A serviced engine will give better fuel efficiency: No one likes a huge MOT bill, but if you get into the habit of getting your car regularly serviced, you can cut down both your MOT bills and your fuel costs. A well serviced, clean engine means that less petrol is required to run it. Also, check the exterior of your vehicle, for example, ensure the petrol cap is tightly locked to avoid any petrol loss through evaporation.

Perform an exterior check frequently, when was the last time you checked your tyre pressure? Poorly inflated tyres apart from being dangerous, can increase your rolling resistance and increase fuel consumption. Just for a bit of air.

5 Be a careful motorist: Being aware of the road at all times can contribute to ensuring your vehicle is energy efficient. For example, predicting what’s ahead by steadily slowing as you approach a roundabout, junction or traffic lights. Keeping a steady speed is essential as by sharply accelerating or applying your brakes, you will increase the amount of petrol you consume.

6 Reduce power consumption by switching off the radio: If you don’t usually use the electrics in your car, radio, air conditioning etc, then consider switching them off when driving. The AA calculates that the 11% more fuel is used with just the air conditioning on (on slower roads, its 3-4% extra on motorways); this is due to more work being done by the engine, as obviously the electrics are driven by the engine.

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Alternatives to use instead of the AC are the obvious also, open the sun roof, but only on slower roads as wind resistance at higher speeds, for instance on the motorway, will increase fuel usage by a fraction. The other option is to use the flow through ventilation system, that way you can turn off the air conditioning.

7 Do you know the shortest route between A and B? Time for some military style planning and Swiss watch like precision, know your route in advance to avoid being trapped in traffic and burning the fuel away. Try and set off well in advance or after rush hour times, this will reduce your journey time, as well as lead to you using the fastest and the most efficient route. It should also help in stopping you getting lost and driving around looking for help or directions, as you’ll soon be looking for a petrol station as well. Lastly, never forget to switch the ignition if you are idling or expect to be idling for more than a minute, every last drop is needed after all!

Debi writes for Just Clear My Debts, one of the UK’s leading sites for free debt advice , IVA Information, debt management plans, and credit card debt resources.

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