Eco-friendly driving tips
Often one of the biggest factors when picking a car is the fuel economy and running costs. And while some things you won’t have any control over such as the insurance group, you can generally improve your fuel efficiency by around 10 – 15% by following these eco-friendly driving tips. Not only will you reduce your driving costs but you’ll also reduce your impact on the environment too.
Do you really need to take the car if you are nipping to the shop around the corner? If you do need to make a number of short trips then why not combine these together into one longer trip rather than several smaller trips. Your car uses the most fuel from cold starts when the engine is warming up so it pays to combine short trips together to keep the engine warm and working more efficiently.
A well-maintained car that is serviced regularly will perform better and be more fuel efficient than one that is not looked after. Regular oil changes, keeping fluids topped up and checking tyre pressures are just some of the things that will help improve your fuel efficiency and keep your car running at its best.
Choose a newer car
Older cars are much less fuel efficient and produce more emissions than their newer counterparts. Hybrid and electric cars are the most economical and are a great option for those who do a lot of inner-city driving with stop/start traffic conditions. Always look at the best option to suit your circumstances and the type of driving that you do.
Before setting off
There are a number of things that you can do to help improve your fuel efficiency before you even leave the house. The following tips will all help to maximise your fuel economy:
- Reduce weight – Don’t drive around with a car full of heavy items as this will have a serious impact on your fuel efficiency. Only carry items that you need for your journey.
- Remove roof racks when not in use – roof bars and roof racks add extra drag that causes you to use more fuel.
- Idling costs money – Only start your car engine when you are ready to set off, don’t sit in the car with the engine running on the driveway while checking your phone and setting up your Sat Nav as this is just a waste of fuel.
- De-ice your car properly – Use a car cover in the winter to keep ice off the windshield and make your car ready to use immediately rather than wasting fuel using your demister.
- Plan your journey – Planning your journey in advance will help you avoid traffic as well as helping to stop you from getting lost.
If you are looking to improve your fuel-efficiency then some of the biggest savings that you can make are to change the way you drive. The tips below will help you to maximise your car’s fuel performance:
- Drive smoothly – Accelerate and brake smoothly and take time to read the road ahead and what traffic is doing. Sudden braking and acceleration will mean that you have to use more fuel to get up to speed.
- Keep rolling – Take your foot off the accelerator and roll towards traffic lights with the aim of being able to continue going without stopping.
- Change gear early – Revving the engine hard is not the best way to drive if you are looking to boost your fuel economy. Instead, practice changing gear early at around 2,000 – 2,500 rpm.
- Stick to the speed limit – Going faster increases the amount of fuel that your car uses with roughly a 15% increase at 60mph compared to 50mph.
- Stop/start system – if your car has a stop/start system then make sure that you switch it on as this can help to switch the engine off when you are stationary.