How to cut petrol costs

Having to constantly buy fuel is one of the most expensive parts of being a car owner, so cutting your petrol costs is a great way of saving money.

Choose your car wisely

If you are a high mileage user, you might find yourself better off buying a modern, fuel efficient car. If you are a low mileage user, you will probably find that even in the long run, you are better off simply applying fuel saving tips to a cheaper car that might not be as fuel efficient.

The car manufacturer will publish details on fuel efficiency, however this should always be taken with a pinch of salt, as the figures they give will be based on optimal conditions. Urban driving is much less fuel efficient than motorway driving due to the stop-start nature of urban conditions, so pay attention to how the car is rated compared with the conditions you drive in rather than looking at the combined MPG rating.

Keep your car well maintained

A well maintained car will be a more fuel efficient car, especially when it comes to the tyres. Regularly check that they are correctly inflated, as underinflated tyres are flatter and have more contact with the road surface, creating more drag and therefore needing more fuel to travel the same distance as a correctly inflated tyre. Some tyres are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, in terms of their compound and tread pattern, so you may find that even though the tyres are a little more expensive in the first place, they save you money in the long run.

Keeping your lubricants topped up and regularly changing things like the air filter will keep the inside of your car running smoothly. A well maintained car will have less internal friction and use less energy, therefore requiring less fuel.

Declutter

Do you still have that roof rack on your car from your holiday last summer? Taking it down might seem like a lot of effort, but it reduces the aerodynamic efficiency of your car, increasing drag and decreasing fuel consumption. Spending the time to remove it can make a surprisingly large difference to your fuel economy.

Similarly, regularly declutter your car. It is a method of transport, not a cupboard or wardrobe, and all those extra items that you can’t be bothered to take out are weighing your car down. More weight means higher fuel consumption and a greater number of trips to the petrol station.

Drive in a fuel efficient manner

It is possible to adapt your driving style in a way that will improve fuel efficiency and therefore petrol costs. The best tip here is to anticipate ahead as much as you can – for example if you see a red light up ahead, stop accelerating towards it and come to a gradual stop, rather than drive up to it quickly and brake harshly when you get there. When pulling away, keep an eye on your revs, and change gear at a lower speed, rather than using the lower gears to make a quick getaway.

Fuel efficiency in modern cars

A lot of new cars offer useful tools to keep the fuel costs down. For example BMW has an Eco-pro mode which not only makes your car more economical but also shows the fuel savings on the screen.

Eco Pro Fuel BMW