Driving is a necessary part of modern life. Changing to electric, hybrids and hydrogen vehicles, for the majority of us can provide cost and practicability challenges depending on our circumstances and the proximity of refuelling stations. So we are left with no option to use petrol or diesel. The only compromise available is to therefore try to use as little fuel as possible, not only good for reducing carbon emissions and pollution but helping your bottom line.
Benchmark your usage
To keep a handle on fuel usage it needs to be measured. Many vehicles have an on board computer that will show your real time mpg. A more useful measure is actual mpg so you need to do some sums. When you fill up make a note of how many litres you put in the tank and note the mileage. Drive as normal then the next time you fill up note the mileage again.
Take second mileage and subtract the original mileage e.g. 69,609 – 69,206 = 403
At this fill up I put in 33.5L to convert to gallons divide by 4.54 e.g. 33.5 / 4.54 = 7.4
So to drive 403 miles 7.4 gallons have been used. Divide the miles by the gallons and you now have benchmarked your mpg e.g. 403 / 7.4 = 54.5mpg. Drive economically and see how your mpg improves. Do this every time you fill up to keep an eye on your fuel usage.
Here are some tips to further improve your mpg.
- Keep to the speed limit (you don’t get there any quicker, any time you gain will be lost as soon as you get into traffic).
- Accelerate smoothly and change gear at 2,000 revs.
- If stopped for more than 6 seconds then turn your engine off, count in your head at traffic lights it’s surprising how long you can be sat there.
- Leave yourself plenty of time for your journey.
- Service your vehicle regularly, looking after your vehicle extends its useful life and keeps it on the road longer. Think of the materials and energy that go into making a new car.
- Can you car share for some journeys? Ask around its makes the journey more interesting, saves money and you can claim an extra 5p per mile
- Is walking and cycling with a car pool available if needed feasible?
- Keep your tyre pressures correct, it does make a difference.
- Keep the weight down in the car, don’t keep your golf clubs in the boot all the time.
- At low speeds (less than 60mph) it is more economical to open your windows rather than put on the air con.
- Braking wastes energy, read the road and allow the vehicle to come to a halt naturally.
- Hypermiling is a method of extreme fuel saving, the methods cannot be endorsed as they are considered to be unsafe. Nonetheless it is entertaining to see what crazy stuff some people will do to save fuel.
Finally, there is bespoke driver training, for fleet users, to manage fuel use often delivering substantial savings in logistics and transport costs for employers.