Common driving errors can ‘really be a drain on your fuel’

Hypermiling: Drivers go to extremes to conserve fuel

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Most drivers are still dealing with the cost of living crisis and with news of petrol and diesel costs getting more expensive again, motorists will save in any way possible. Data shows that motorists could spend £395 more on fuel this year compared with last year, with prices increasing by 21 percent since 2022.

Three-quarters of drivers reported that it was more expensive for them to fill up, with many worried about the impact it has on the rest of their finances.

Tim Rodie, driving expert at Motorpoint, urged drivers to avoid overspending on petrol or diesel by making a few changes to their habits.

He said: “Over the last couple of years soaring fuel costs have placed huge pressure on motorists. 

“With drivers likely to spend over £2,200 on fuel this year, it’s unsurprising that many people are still worried about the cost of filling up their car.”

Empty the boot

It can be really tempting for drivers to leave things in their boot to save them from making multiple trips to the car, but this won’t be doing their bank balance any favours. 

Ultimately, the lighter a car is, the less fuel is needed to drive it and the less people have to spend.

The same goes for bike racks and roof boxes that aren’t being used. Although it might be a pain to remove, increased drag and extra weight mean the car must work harder to move.

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Reconsider temperature

Tim Rodie said: “Running the air-conditioning system can really be a drain on your fuel. Unless you absolutely need it, I would suggest trying to do without. 

“The same does for driving with the windows down. While it can be nice to get some fresh air in your car, open windows make your car less aerodynamic, meaning your car needs to work harder and will use more fuel. 

“Sometimes, you need to be able to warm up or cool down your car to make your trips more comfortable. As a general rule, opening your windows is best when driving around at lower speeds and air-conditioning is more efficient if you’re on the motorway.” 

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Driving style

Over time, motorists will develop bad driving habits, but Tim says driving how they did when they took their test could help them.

Sticking to the speed limit and anticipating what is going to happen on the road in front of them is always crucial.

These tips, alongside easing into the accelerator, are all “really easy ways” to help them preserve their fuel.

Car maintenance

Motorists can sometimes slip up and forget to take proper care of their car and while small issues may not seem too bad, they can affect the fuel economy.

Tim concluded, saying: “Keeping on top of your service schedule and regularly checking your tyres aren’t only important for your safety but help make sure that your vehicle is as efficient as possible. 

“Normal wear and tear can have a real impact on fuel consumption, so it’s definitely worth checking that your tyres are properly inflated at least once a month and getting your service booked in as soon as it’s due.”  

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