Highway Code rule on idling may help drivers save £150 a year on fuel costs – ‘it adds up’

Highway Code: This Morning panel debate changes to code

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While petrol and diesel prices are not at their record high prices anymore, drivers still regularly face costs of more than £85 to fill their tank. Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and CEO of MotorEasy, urged drivers to change their driving habits as it could lead to them saving money on fuel.

He said: “One thing many people do that is entirely unnecessary is to leave their engine idling.

“This can be done first thing in the morning to ‘warm it up’ or when stuck in traffic.

“Even dropping off something at a friend’s house can see people leave the motor running instead of turning off the ignition.

“While this might seem very innocent, research has shown an idling engine can burn through 3-4p of fuel a minute.

“If you are doing 10 minutes of warming up, five days a week, and spending another 30 minutes per week stuck in traffic – that adds up to a very handy £166 a year that’s being wasted.

“It’s obviously not great for the environment to have increased emissions escaping into the atmosphere either.”

Mr McClure Fisher pointed to Rule 123 of the Highway Code which highlights “the driver and the environment” and the rules they should follow.

As part of the rule, it states that drivers must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.

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It continues: “Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. 

“However it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults.”

Current RAC Fuel Watch data shows that drivers are facing costs of 163.28p per litre for unleaded petrol, while super unleaded is slightly more expensive at 175.4p.

Despite a drop in price, diesel owners are still being set back 177.29p a litre, although the RAC do say that prices for all fuel types “should fall”.

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