Fuel prices are regularly going up. This video explains five eco driving tips that will reduce your fuel usage and save you money. The tips include how to drive, car preparation and how to accurately measure fuel consumption.
- Prep the car. Regular maintenance is key to a fuel-efficient car.
- Make sure the air filter is clean. A blocked air filter will strangle the engines performance.
- Change the oil regularly because old oil will not lubricate the engine as well as fresh oil.
- Tyre pressure should be checked before driving when the tyre is cold. The correct pressure is listed in the car manual or inside the door sill. You can buy low rolling-resistance tyres that give improved efficiency.
- Take unnecessary weight out of the car. A heavy car is not efficient. Any items that are not required should be left at home.
Plan your Journey in Advance
- If you haven’t been to the place you are going check a map or GPS to avoid wrong turns and getting lost.
- Motorways should be used as much as possible because they are more fuel efficient than frequent stopping and starting.
- Check fuel price apps to find the cheapest fuel near you.
- Get an accurate reading for fuel economy from the Which? site. Your car’s trip computer may not be as accurate.
- Always keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. You will be able to see the traffic flow ahead and avoid braking and accelerating abruptly.
- It is important to be as smooth as possible on the throttle and brakes. Keeping a constant speed will keep your mpg high.
- For cars with adaptable driving modes, use the most economical setting. In some cases, this may reduce the responsiveness of the throttle, so only use it if you feel comfortable with it.
- Only use air conditioning if you are travelling above 30 mph. When traveling slower than that, just open the windows.
- Putting the gear into neutral to coast and save fuel is an urban myth. In any case, the fuel injection system will still be working, so it is safer and more efficient to change down the gears and use engine braking.
Get Real world MPG Figures
All cars have a claimed MPG figure, which is based on an EU test cycle. These numbers are not always achievable.
Which? runs its own test cycle that uses hot and cold engine starts and the motorway driving scenario for more achievable mpg figures. These can be accessed by members on the hundreds of reviews online.
Don’t be fooled by green labels on cars. Of all the cars that we tested in 2012, the top ten had the biggest difference between the claimed figure and our tested figure. These were all small, eco-friendly, low emissions cars.