Last week I shared 10 ways to save money on your energy bills so I thought today, I’d share 10 ways to save money on fuel.
You might have read recently that my daily commute is a little bit longer than it used to be which has, in turn, increased the amount of money I spend on petrol. It’s quite a significant increase so over the last month or so I’ve really gotten the hang of how to drive more efficiently and discovered other ways to reduce how much I spend on petrol.
Here are a few of the ways I save money on fuel – trust me, they work!
Cut your speed
My drive to work might be longer but it’s actually a pretty easy drive (if I time it right and miss the traffic) with about 8 miles of 50mph and another 25 ish miles at 70mph on a dual carriageway. I try not to let the urge to get the drive over with make me drive faster than I should because I know just how big a difference speed makes on fuel consumption. Apparently, dropping your speed from 80mph to 70mph could save you up to 25% in fuel and a further drop from 70mph down to 60mph could save you another 10% which adds up to a pretty big saving.
Now I don’t want to do 60mph on a road where the traffic is travelling at 70mph as that’s not really safe but I do try and stick to around 65mph to save a little bit.
The more you need to brake and accelerate again, the higher your fuel consumption will be. Always try to anticipate the road ahead and drive as smoothly as you can. There’s no point accelerating hard to get to the car in front when you’re going to have to brake because it’s going slower than you! The same for speed bumps – don’t accelerate between them when you’re going to slow to go over them.
Change gears sooner rather than later
I always argue with Mr Frugal over this one because he lets the rev counter get to 3000 rpm on our car before he changes up a gear but after doing some research, it’s definitely more fuel efficient to change gear at 2,500 rpm on our petrol car. If you have a diesel engine than it’s 2,000 rpm that’s your optimum time to change up.
Check your tyres
Make sure your tyres are the right tread depth as that’s a factor in how much fuel your car uses up too. It’s an even bigger factor in how safe your car drives though so if not for the money, check them to make sure you’re safe.
Don’t ignore your service reminders
Keeping on top of your car services and necessary maintenance will not only help maintain your car and keep it running longer but will also help keep it running efficiently and using as little fuel as possible.
Think Formula 1 – the more aerodynamic your car is the more efficient it will be so the less fuel you’ll use. This means no roof boxes unless you need them and try and not have the windows down – easier said than done on a hot day in a car.
Switch off the air con
Using the air con in your car, especially when you’re travelling at lower speeds, definitely affects your fuel consumption so unless you’re melting in a heatwave step away from the air con button.
Reduce the weight in your car
A car is more efficient if the load is lighter so don’t have a boot full of unnecessary stuff like I sometimes do. I once filled (and I mean filled) my boot with things to take to the charity shop and then drove around with a boot filled with books and board games for a good three weeks until I finally got around to dropping the stuff off.
Ironically, even the amount of fuel you put in your car counts to this so if you’re just doing short journeys then stick to half a tank at a time.
Check your local fuel prices
There’s a huge difference in the petrol prices near me! The cost at our local Asda is 113p which is the lowest around here compared to the cost at the garage on the dual carriageway which is 121p so you can imagine the difference in cost for me considering the number of miles I do.
Ditch the car
I know this is an obvious one but I couldn’t write a post on how to reduce fuel costs without dropping this one in! If it’s an unnecessary journey or one that you could walk rather than drive then leave the car at home. Also, see if there’s an option for car sharing for your commute to work or if you’re meeting a friend somewhere then arrange to travel with them.
If you try and do as many of the above as possible, you should see your fuel spend going in the right direction.
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