Posted: 19-02-2015 In: Driving Tips
Save Money by Driving Efficiently
So you’ve passed your driving test? Well done! But in many ways, now the real learning begins: Driving courteously, how to avoid road rage, when to pull out, when to give way, when to flash your lights – there’s passing your test, and then there’s driving. One of the secrets of good driving is how to make it as fuel efficient as possible. Follow these tips then, and you’ll soon find yourself getting a lot more mpg for your pounds:
1. Drive with care in windy conditions
First up, the wind is not your friend. Unless you’re zooming down the road (observing the speed limit of course) with a helpful tail wind, any other strong gusts are going to buffer your motor and cost you more in fuel. Now, that isn’t to say that you should just stay indoors if it’s blowing a gale, but, if you have a choice of routes between a road meandering through countryside or in a built up area and a wide and soulless ‘A’ road or motorway, then go for the low road over the high road every time. And another thing: if it’s a hot and sunny day and you’ve got air con in your car, avoid the temptation to wind those windows down and rest your elbow on the sill like you’re the coolest kid on the block. You may think you’re irresistible, but all that extra air passing through will only increase the resistance and be a drag – literally. So use what technology provided instead.
2. Do you really use your roof rack?
Do you ever use that roof rack? No? In which case take it off. It only slows you right down, as well as making you look like you’ve lost your luggage or bike whilst you’ve been out and about. And, seeing as we’re talking about weight as well as the aforementioned wind: take a good look at yourself at the same time as your car. Are you carrying a bit of extra weight too with all that driving and not enough exercise? Indeed, do you suffer from too much wind? In which case, start to take care of your own body, not just that of your vehicle: use your legs instead of your wheels if you only have to run a few errands or go a short distance. Not only will those pennies you put in your tank last you longer, but you’ll start getting into shape too
3. Don’t race!
Don’t race ahead on a road just to get bumper to bumper with the car in front: Slow down, take it easy…cruuuise. Juddering in your car is much less efficient than predicting the road ahead and crawling forward. Approach traffic lights with stealth, that way they may change from red to green without you needing to stop. They say that good things come to those who wait, but good fuel efficiency comes to those who crawl.
4. Use the correct gear!
Get your car into maximum fuel efficiency mode as soon as possible. What are you still doing in first? You really should be in second now. And now third. Don’t always trust vehicle manufacturers promises of fuel efficiency – in order to make those extreme fuel efficiency claims they test their vehicles in high altitude, devoid of any extra weight, and no doubt with the lightest test driver they can find behind the wheel. Rummage around on internet forums instead and ask people who drive the same vehicle as you how they achieve optimum fuel efficiency. That way you’ll get a more accurate figure as opposed to getting frustrated that you never hit the fuel efficiency promises that those pesky car manufacturers claim.
5. Service your car regularly
Finally, treat your car as you would your lady (or man) A regular service will ensure they give you pleasure and remain loyal to you for a long time to come. And the same goes for your car too!Regular servicing will save you money in the long run as it helps to prevent any major problems from occurring down the line. Tuning your engine helps to keep your vehicle running efficiently and not wasting fuel, as does maintaining the correct tyre pressure. In fact it’s been found that incorrect pressure in tyres is a common factor in many vehicle accidents, so not only does low air pressure mean you will waste more fuel, but incorrect air pressure is actually dangerous. Again, the correct pressure for your tyres can usually be found online.