Today’s cars are becoming more and more economical due to EU regulations and technological advancements, but we all like to spend less when it comes to petrol and diesel, particularly as fuel prices can be so volatile. Michael Bannon, Aviva’s Motor Underwriting Manager has combined some top fuel saving tips to help you stretch as many miles to the gallon as possible.
1. Less fuel can mean more fuel
If you tend to be an urban driver, when the weather is mild - only have half a tank of fuel – less weight will help fuel economy. Remember that during the winter months, don’t let your fuel levels drop too much as you risk the tank freezing.
2. Plan your route
Consider making one round trip rather than several short trips. Once the engine is warm it will operate at its most efficient whereas several cold starts increases fuel consumption even though the total mileage could be the same
3. Make sure you maintain your vehicle
A well-maintained engine is an efficient one. Regular maintenance and servicing improves the efficiency of your vehicle. And therefore can improve your fuel consumption. Make sure the air filter, oil, oil filter, spark plugs and fuel filters are all changed as recommended by the manufacturer to keep it in tip-top shape
4. Always use the slowest speed in the possible highest gear
The secret to achieving a high mpg figure is driving at the lowest speed you can, in the highest possible gear.
The optimum fuel economy speed is different for every car. While your vehicle will have an ideal speed, the actual road conditions and gradient may not allow you to achieve it - so there will be an element of improvisation and learning, to adjust your driving according to the road ahead.
Generally speaking, the optimum driving speed for fuel economy is 55/56mph, which is what car manufacturers typically use to quote fuel consumption figures.
5. Cruise control on motorways
Cruise control aids fuel economy while driving on a constant, flat surface, and this is why it lends itself to motorway driving. This is because one of the keys to saving fuel is driving at a constant speed, cruise control can allow you to do this effectively on flat surfaces, making your driving is as fuel efficient as possible by negating unnecessary acceleration.
However, you should not use cruise control off the motorway or on roads which do not have a flat surface as this can be unsafe and increase your fuel consumption.
6. Maintain momentum
Keeping your car moving is essential to fuel economy. Obviously this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to accelerate again naturally uses more fuel. So plan ahead, anticipate stop signs and traffic lights; the more time and space you gain, the better your fuel economy and the safer you will be.
7. Dump the Junk
Don’t keep unnecessary items in your boot as they add weight to your vehicle, which affects how efficiently your car uses your fuel.
8. Keep an eye on your tyres
Make sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your car owner’s manual.
9. Keeping cool
Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to - it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption. When driving at slow speeds, try opening your window instead. When travelling on the motorway using the air conditioning is the most efficient way to stay cool as it reduces the drag that can occur at higher speeds if the window is open.
Why not try out these fuel-saving tips for yourself to help cut your costs. If you’d like to get a car insurance quote, you can click here or if youwould like to make sure your car is ready for winter, you can click here.
Aviva Direct Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Car insurance is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited.
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