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top 10 fuel saving tips

Dec 5, 2012

As the one penny per litre increase in fuel duty takes effect – and pump prices soar we at Dealer Option
look at ten ways to bring down your fuel bills.

1. Check your tyres
Driving on over- or under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by three per cent.
Check your tyres every week, and make sure they’re inflated to the manufacturer’s requirements. Also check
their tread depth is at least 1.6mm deep. For more information read our guide on how to check your tyres.

2. Lighten the load
More weight equals higher fuel consumption, especially in stop/start traffic. Remove any unnecessary items from
your car - like unused sports kit in the boot or CDs in the glove box.

3. Warming up
Don’t leave the engine running for five minutes before driving to ‘warm it up’. It’s a big waste of fuel. Instead, drive gently for the first few minutes of your journey.

4. Avoid unnecessary engine use
Switch your engine on after you’ve put on your seatbelt, checked your mirrors and tuned the radio. Fuel used
while you’re carrying out these actions is wasted. Only use your car’s air conditioning system when necessary – it can knock up to 3mpg off your fuel consumption

5. Drive smoothly
You’ll use less fuel if you maintain a steady speed, and avoid sudden stop-start movements by braking or
accelerating sharply. Travelling at 65mph rather than 70mph can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent. Anticipate hazards so that you can avoid heavy braking and unnecessarily sharp acceleration.

6. Make you car more aerodynamic
Close your windows and sunroof when driving - the less resistance your car has, the less fuel it will consume.
Only fit roof racks and boxes when absolutely necessary – they can increase your fuel consumption by up to 30
per cent. (If you don’t know how to remove your roof rack, get a professional to help.)

7. Avoid short journeys
Travelling short distances of around ten to twenty minutes results in poor fuel consumption.
Minimise small journeys by walking or using public transport if possible. If you do have to drive short distances,
combine a number of outings into one longer drive. Always remember to plan your journey: going the long way round, getting lost and running into road works can increase your journey time considerably.

8. Change gears efficiently
Change gear at around 2,000rpm in a diesel car or around 2,500rpm in a petrol car to put less strain on your
engine. This reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions.

9. Car maintenance
A regularly serviced vehicle will be more fuel efficient, as well as safer. A dirty engine with lots of sooty deposits
can also worsen fuel economy. Checking your oil once month and before long journeys can help. Ensure you top up with the correct type of oil for your car – check your vehicle handbook for more details.

10. Find cheaper petrol
Use petrolprices.com to find your cheapest local petrol station. Updated 8,000 times a day, the simple website
searches the UK’s 11,900 petrol stations to find cheaper petrol near you.

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