Top Fuel-Saving Driving Tips That Will Help Your Back Pocket
Here at Lendrums Driving School, we want to help you enjoy your new driving skills without having to spend what you can’t afford. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide packed full of clever hacks and tricks to help you save money as a newbie driver.
1. Lease new or used cars
For new drivers, costs associated with maintaining and running your car can be daunting for some new drivers. “Often it comes as a bit of a shock when people realise that in addition to the purchase of the car, insurance and fuel – you need to budget for a range of new expenses, such as MOT, replacement tyres and brakes, and regular servicing/maintenance”, say experts at caruno. To help spread the cost, increasing numbers of UK drivers are now considering leasing, rather than buying their next car. Leasing is a monthly payment scheme, which offers a simple and affordable way to access quality new and used cars. And to make life even easier, many providers offer great value maintenance bundles that make budgeting a breeze.
2. Go easy on the accelerator
Did you know that the faster you drive, the more fuel you use? If you’re travelling at 50 mph, you’ll use twice what you would at 25mph.
That’s why you should always accelerate gently, especially when you’re starting from stationary or moving away from traffic lights. This is because when you accelerate, you’re making your vehicle’s engine spin faster, increasing your fuel usage.
Stick to the speed limit, using the highest gear you can and you’ll be surprised at how much petrol you’ll save.
2. Get rid of extra weight
Remove anything from your vehicle that you don’t immediately need and you’ll make it easier for it to start moving and keep going. This reduces your fuel consumption whilst also helping you keep your car clean and organised.
Ditch everything from the heavy stuff like baggage to smaller things like tools, wetsuits and makeup items. Everything adds up! Just make sure you keep your spare tyre and emergency kit in the car just in case the unexpected happens.
3. Check your tyre pressure
If your tyre pressure is low, your car will have less grip on the road and you’ll need more fuel to drive. Every 2-4 weeks, check your tyre pressure to make sure they meet recommended levels.
Find the figures near the lock inside the driver’s door or dig out your owner’s handbook to find out what these are. Then use a reliable pressure gauge and top up if necessary. Your bank balance will thank you!
4. Look after your car
When you keep your car well maintained, it will be more efficient. automatically save you money and reduce your risk of breaking down. Refer to your owner’s handbook to find out how to do basic DIY checks that will keep your vehicle running smoothly and avoid unnecessary trips to the mechanic.
This can include:
- Checking the engine oil every two weeks or before long trips
- Checking your power steering fluid
- Checking your engine coolant
- Checking tyre pressure and tread
- Checking your windscreen wiper liquid
- Checking that your brake, indicator and fog lights are working
If you do find a problem, take it to your local garage for repairs, a service or an MOT. They will check the spark plugs, filters, engine oil levels and any other parts that are giving you problems then clean, repair or replace them if necessary.
5. Plan your trips
Whenever you’re planning to hit the road, plan your route as efficiently as you can to avoid using fuel unnecessarily. Combine several errands into one trip, using a route planning app like Google Maps or AA Route Finder if you need to.
If you just need to pop to the local shop or go and see a friend, do the eco-friendly thing and walk instead.
6. Avoid using air-con (unless it’s absolutely freezing or boiling!)
Many of us stick on the heaters or use the air con when it’s too hot or cold. But doing this uses your engine and therefore increases your fuel consumption.
Instead of automatically reaching for the temperature controls, use your air vents or pop on (or strip off) a few extra layers. Save your air-con for extreme temperatures and you’ll save big on fuel.
7. Think about aerodynamics
For maximum fuel efficiency, your car should be able to pass through the air without anything getting in the way. Any drag will slow you down and make your engine work harder.
Consider removing your roof rack or roof box, bike rack, flags or anything else you don’t need then close your windows and sunroof, especially if you’re planning a trip on the motorway.
Rising fuel prices mean that it’s harder than ever to enjoy your car to the max. However, by going easy on the accelerator, lightening your load, thinking about aerodynamics, checking your tyre pressure, keeping your car well-maintained and avoiding that air-con, you can slash your costs and enjoy your new driving skills.