Adjust your driving technique
1) Choose the best route
Choosing the route that allows you to drive most efficiently will save you both time and money. Save yourself time and fuel by checking traffic reports from the Highways Agency before you leave. If you can, try to avoid routes where you will be forced to switch gears often at low speeds.
2) Cut your speed
Every extra 10 miles of speed per hour costs you an extra 4p per mile. The faster you go, the more this will increase - so, on the motorway, be aware you may be spending several pounds to save just a few minutes.
3) Change the way you drive
Always drive in the correct gear, as driving in a lower gear than you need to wastes fuel. Similarly, change gear at the correct point to put less strain on your engine. Try not to let your engine idle needlessly and switch it off when stationary for long periods.
Avoid sudden braking and accelerating as this can add up to 30% to your fuel bill. So drive smoothly, anticipate the road ahead and slow down gradually for red lights. Use the cruise control when you can, as this helps your car maintain a steady speed.
Air conditioning can add 10% to your fuel bill, so switch it off if you don't need it - you can always open the air vents instead. But don't open the windows unless necessary as this adds drag to the car (which of course uses more fuel).
4) Take care when parking
It takes the engine of a typical five-year old car about one and a half minutes to warm up and reach maximum fuel efficiency. So try to reverse into, not out of, a parking space, as you use up 20 to 30 times more fuel reversing when the engine is cool than when you do when the engine is warm. If you reverse out of a parking space an average of 10 times a week then this additional cost in fuel adds up to around £2 around a week or £104 a year. Finally, only park in the shade on a hot day. This not only reduces the need for air conditioning when you get in the car, but it means less of your petrol will evaporate.
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