Petrol prices: How to make your car more fuel efficient
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Motorists across the UK and beyond are struggling to meet cost of living demands that have beset the country since 2021. Petrol prices have hit a new high every day for the last month, profoundly impacting the lives of those who rely on their cars to live. While some analysts believe the price per litre will soon settle, petrol remains around 181.9p on average and diesel 188.2p, and John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, has provided Express.co.uk with five tips to help the expensive fuel last longer.
Drive with care
Mr Willmot listed three key ways people can change their driving behaviour to conserve fuel.
The first factor to consider is acceleration, as driving slow and steady from a stop can conserve 50 percent more fuel.
Allowing a car to roll rather than forcing it to stop and start can also help conserve fuel.
Mr Willmot added: “If you’re approaching traffic lights or a queue then slow early and you might not need to stop completely.”
Changing gears will help keep pressure off the engine, meaning shift adjustments also reduce petrol consumption.
Check tyre pressure
Tyre pressure also often determines how long fuel lasts, according to Mr Willmot.
He said: “Lower tyre pressure will drain your tank because you’ll need more fuel to move it down the road.
“Check your tyre pressure as soon as possible to see if it’s too low, and then do regular checks every two weeks to keep those tyres pumped up.
“If you’re not sure what the pressure should be, the figures are normally shown near the lock inside the driver’s door.”
Reduce your car’s mass
Cars work against the elements around them to accelerate and ultimately use more fuel when heavier.
Mr Willmot said people should “clear out all the unnecessary junk in the boot” to help lighten the load.
He added: “The lighter your car, the more efficient it will be.”
Reducing mass works similarly, as outside drag can also leave cars struggling.
People who drive cars with a roof rack should consider removing it, resulting in a 20 to 40 percent drag reduction above 75mph.
While cars use most of their petrol to accelerate, their other components are also avid consumers.
Air conditioners will significantly drain most vehicles, consuming more petrol, so Mr Willmot suggests turning them off where possible.
People should occasionally turn them on, as they can seize up if left inactive for too long.
Open windows can also reduce efficiency, as they cause drag, slowing the car down and increasing fuel usage.
Drivers should try and keep them closed “when driving at faster speeds out of towns or on motorways”, Mr Willmot said.
Plan your trips
People should also plan their trips more thoroughly either by combining trips or sharing with friends.
Combining trips for errands “into one big trip” will help “maximise fuel usage”, Mr Willcot said.
With car sharing, colleagues and websites may be able to lend a hand.
He said: “It might be worth asking work colleagues if they would consider car sharing for a while until fuel prices ease.
“There are also car share websites which allow you to co-ordinate and share journeys – it’s worth checking them out as a short-term solution.”
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