Drivers warned when cruise control can increase fuel consumption

Hypermiling: Drivers go to extremes to conserve fuel

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The Office of National Statistics found that 77 percent of Britons were worried about the rising cost of living, with petrol and diesel prices a particular concern for many. As a result, many have been trying to cut their costs using fuel-saving tips and changing their driving habits to slash fuel consumption.

Cruise control is a common feature of most modern cars and can help massively with boosting the fuel economy of the vehicle.

However, drivers are being warned that cruise control will only aid fuel efficiency when driving on a constant, flat surface.

This is why it is usually best reserved for motorway driving.

One of the best ways to save fuel is to drive at a constant speed, which is made easier with cruise control.

Drivers who use cruise control on non-flat roads may experience problems as it would be slower to react to gradient changes.

When reaching the brow of a hill, drivers would normally take their foot off the accelerator to maintain more of a constant speed when descending.

The technology will keep the power on for longer as it is unable to see the gradient change in front, which can lead to “worse fuel consumption”, the RAC states.

The most fuel-efficient roads in the country are not quiet extra-urban dual carriageways or 20mph city streets, they are motorways.

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According to the latest data from RAC Fuel Watch, drivers are currently facing costs of 164.13p per litre for unleaded petrol and 180.78p for diesel.

The motoring organisation states that these prices should all continue to fall.

On average, cars could travel 1,275 miles more for £100 of fuel 30 years ago than they can now.

In 1992, petrol prices were around 40p per litre, a far cry from the prices seen recently.

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Recent Government vehicle licensing statistics revealed that the Ford Fiesta (average 30mpg) was the most popular car in the UK, with 1.49 million currently on British roads.

Drivers may expect to see a Ford Fiesta travel up to 350 miles on £100 worth of fuel today, but 30 years ago, £100 would have allowed them to travel five times the distance (1,650 miles).

The data, from ChooseMyCar, found that drivers in 1992 would have been able to travel from Glasgow to Rome with £100 of fuel, as well as from Canterbury to Ukraine.

Nowadays, £100 of fuel could take a driver from Bristol to Dublin or Leicester to Penzance.

Nicholas Zapolski, Founder of ChooseMyCar, said: “At ChooseMyCar we believe that money should never get in the way of driving, whether that’s being able to purchase a car, or simply affording the petrol to run it.

“With the cost of living continuously on the rise, our research confirms that the expense of running a car is going to be another financial strain for many of us across the country.

“For families who are looking to switch to a more fuel-efficient car, we advise prioritising certain car specs such as the tank capacity, average MPG, and the cost of fuel per mile.

“Brands such as Renault, Toyota, and Hyundai are great producers of budget-friendly cars that are not only family favourites, but are also great for their mileage and are low cost to run.”

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