Saving fuel The most obvious way of saving fuel is to consider your car purchase carefully. You cannot expect to buy a hulking great 4x4 and have the fuel efficiency of a Fiat Panda. A larger vehicle will use more fuel. Generally a vehicle twice the size and weight will use twice the fuel. Consider the main usage of the vehicle. A 4x4 can be great for getting the kids to school but unless you have 23 kids it is unnecessary and don't forget you have to haul its weight around everywhere you go even when the kids are in school. You can expect fuel M.P.G. in the low teens around town whereas most cars would get above 25. Multiply that difference by how many days that you drive and then by the price of petrol! A 4x4 can be a lot more expensive than its price tag.
But its not only large vehicles that can cost extra in fuel bills. High performance cars can and will use more fuel than their contemporaries. If like me you are stuck with the car you have already bought there are other ways of saving fuel. Click Here For Vehicle Running Costs Calculator
Fuel Saving Tips
Buying fuel in the morning or late at night rather in the middle of the day can save you money. The heat of the day causes the petrol to expand whereas the cool of the night causes the fuel to become more dense. Since the fuel pump measures the volume of the fuel being dispensed and not the density you will actually get more fuel for your money!!
Don't drive unless you have to. How many of us will nip to the local corner shop in the car? Cutting this type of journey out will not only keep you fitter but drastically reduce your fuel bills. The choke on your engine (Normally automatic) only turns off when you engine has warmed up and while its on makes the petrol mixture rich, hence your engine uses more fuel. Short journeys don't give the choke time to turn off and all these short journeys will be using the worst petrol consumption that your engine can achieve. Obviously you engine does not use any fuel at all when you walk.
Check you tyre pressures. Deflated tyres are harder to turn and therefore the engine has to do more work. This will use up more fuel. Every pound that your tyres are under their correct inflation pressure will result in a 2% increase in your fuel used!
Keep your revs down. The higher the revs the more fuel the engine will use. Changing gears earlier will save fuel. Driving in the wrong gears can increase the amount of fuel used by up to 40%. Also watch your acceleration as this uses up more fuel for the least gain in actual mileage covered.
Watch you speed. The faster that you drive and the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you will use. There is an increase of 20% in fuel consumption between 55 mph and 70 mph. and that increases as your speed does.
Air conditioning in your car can be very nice but in order to cool and dry the air you engine has to turn an extra pump. This is hard work and will increase your fuel consumption accordingly by upto 20%.
Keep your windows closed at higher speeds. Opening your windows will destroy the streamlining of your car and increase drag. This can increase you fuel consumption by 10%
There is no need to let your car idle in the morning more than 30 seconds. Most modern cars are fine to just start the car and set off. Leaving your car to idle in the morning while it warms up costs money in fuel for no mileage whatsoever and is unnecessary.
Keep you vehicle free from clutter. Clutter is weight and weight increase fuel consumption.
Service your car regularly. Keeping the engine in check will make sure that your consumption does not go up like it can when the engine is not running efficiently.
If you check your fuel consumption on a regular basis then you can tell if your engine is not running as efficiently. This could be an early indicator of a problem in your engine. Use the following checks to check what mpg your car should be doing and then use the calculator to see what it actually is doing.... Check a car for fuel consumption: Working out your M.P.G.
Reset your trip-mileometer at the petrol pump and fill then tank up to full.
Drive your car. (The longer the journey the more accurate the results)
Return to petrol pump and note the mileage on your trip-mileometer.
Then fill the car back up to full. The fuel that you have to put in the car is the amount of fuel used by the previous journey.
Use the form below to work out you M.P.G.
Company Cars Advisory Fuel Rates for Company Cars from 1 July 2005 These rates apply to all journeys on or after 1 July 2005 until further notice:
1400cc or less
1401cc to 2000cc
These rates are calculated from the fuel prices in the table below:
Engine Size (cc)
Fuel price (per litre)
Fuel price (per gallon)
Pence per mile
up to 1400
1400 - 2000
up to 2000
up to 1400
1400 - 2000
Notes: Mean mpg - miles per gallon - from manufacturers information, weighted by annual sales to businesses (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 2004). This data reflects increases in fuel economy since the original calculations were done in late 2001. Applied mpg - adjusted downwards by 10% to take account of real driving conditions and lower fuel economy for older cars For LPG, mpg is assumed to be 20% lower than for petrol due to lower volumetric energy density Department of Trade & Industry's latest petrol and diesel prices (June 2005), LPG from AA website (May 2005), both adjusted to include change in fuel duty announced to take effect in September 2005. LPG advisory rates are set slightly higher than the calculated pence per mile because we realise that some employers may have reached agreements with their employees on the basis of the former rates. We do not guarantee to repeat this in future and suggest that employers make agreements with employees on the basis of the rates, not the current figures. Will the rate per mile figures change if fuel prices go up or down? We aim to provide employers with as much certainty as possible by keeping the fuel rates unchanged where there are modest variations in fuel prices. In line with the commitment made when they were introduced, they will be reviewed during a tax year only in the event of a variation in fuel prices of greater than 10% from the prices used at that time.