As the cost of living crisis continues, we are all looking for ways to make a tank of fuel last as long as possible.

With petrol prices on the rise in the UK, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to saving money on petrol - premium or otherwise

The 10 helpful tips covered in this article can help you get started on your money-saving journey.

If you want to know how to save money on petrol this year, then this is the article for you.


You Should Check Tyre Pressure

Did you know that both under-  and over-inflated tyres can have a real impact on your vehicle’s performance?

Due to the fact that more rubber will be in contact with the road’s surface, an under-inflated tyre will wear out faster. Likewise, an over-inflated tyre will wear unevenly and have less traction, which could cause problems in bad weather conditions if the tyre tread wears away. 

By keeping your tyres at the correct pressure, you may be able to get a few more miles out of each tank of petrol. Be sure to check your tyre pressure every 2 to 3 weeks. You can do this using a pressure gauge to find out if your tyres meet the required PSI that your vehicle handbook recommends. 

Alternatively, you may be able to check your tyre pressure at a self-service air pressure pump at a local petrol station. 

If you are planning to do so, it is best to do this after only driving a short distance, so that your tyres do not heat up too much. If you have driven more than a couple of miles, you should give your tyres 2 hours to cool down before starting the process. 


Driver checking tyre pressure using handheld gauge, close-up shot

If you can't find a tyre pressure machine near you, see if you can borrow a handheld pressure gauge (see picture above) to check yours.


You Should Walk or Cycle Where Possible

If you frequently drive short journeys, this won't do wonders for your fuel economy. As your engine won’t have enough time to warm up properly, this can make a real difference to your fuel consumption, especially during the winter months. 

To combat this, consider whether you can walk or cycle instead of driving. Not only will this help your petrol last longer, but you will also be doing your bit to tackle climate change.


You Should Declutter Your Car

How full is your boot? If you have lots of heavy items sat in your car at all times, then you might be using more fuel than necessary.

The less clutter weighing down your car, the less fuel you will need to power it. Be sure to remove any bike racks or roof boxes that are not in use - roof boxes increase fuel consumption and create significant wind resistance.

That being said, remember to always keep an emergency kit in the car, so that you can prepare for any eventuality. 

You could even consider only half filling your car with fuel, as having a full tank will naturally mean that you are carrying more weight. Of course, this will depend on the length and type of journey you plan to drive, but half filling and visiting the pumps twice could save you money if you are going on a short trip.

It may be worth tracking your fuel habits and costs to see which method works best for you.


You Should Switch Off The Engine When Stationary

If you let your car engine idle, you could unintentionally be wasting fuel. This can in turn reduce the lifespan of the engine by stripping oil from the pistons and cylinders. Additionally, idling can contribute to the wear of other related components. Instead, drive slowly as the car begins to warm up, as a cold engine will be less efficient. 

If your vehicle has start-stop technology, you can take full advantage of this. Restarting your engine will require less fuel than you would burn while idling (as the engine will stay warm). 


You Should Brake and Accelerate Gently

Drive as though you have just taken your practical test, and you can take better care of vital components like your brakes and reduce fuel consumption. Remember to avoid any hazards that could impact your vehicle’s performance.

Avoid excessive revving or acceleration by thinking ahead - slow down and ease off the accelerator as you approach traffic congestion, instead of keeping the power on and braking when you are about to approach the queue. 


You Should Remain in Gear When Slowing Down

Generally speaking, most cars offer the best fuel economy when travelling between 45 and 55 mph. Both driving too fast and too slow can have a negative impact in terms of fuel efficiency, so you should strive to drive at a legal speed and time your gear changes well. 

Try to choose the highest gear you can and ease off the accelerator where possible. Know that knocking your gear stick into neutral before you’ve stopped moving actually uses up more fuel. 

Staying in gear will activate the fuel cut-off switch, which stops the system from feeding fuel into the engine under braking. This is a small saving, but a saving nonetheless. 


You Should Keep Your Speed Constant

Did you know that motorways are actually more fuel-efficient than country roads?

Offering a chance to maintain a constant speed in a high gear, you can avoid aggressive braking or revving whilst driving on the motorway. Even if taking the motorway adds more miles to your journey, remember that one long journey is better for your engine than several smaller ones. 

If you regularly drive on the motorway, try and keep your speed as steady as possible. Overusing the accelerator and changing gear regularly uses more fuel, reducing your efficiency. If your vehicle has cruise control, be sure to use this as much as possible.

You may wish to refer to your car’s dashboard, which - in some cars - can show you your MPG. Why not set a weekly target for yourself?


You Should Drive in the Right Gear

If you drive a manual car, then you need to be in the right gear at all times. When driving at a higher speed, make sure you are in a higher gear. At lower speeds, pick a lower gear. 

A strained engine noise could imply that you are driving in the wrong gear. 2000rpm is the best time to change up a gear, with 1000rpm being the best time to change down. 


You Should Turn Off The Air Con

Unless you are actively using the air conditioning system, running it may unintentionally be causing increased fuel consumption. Driving with the windows down can actually make your vehicle less aerodynamic and cause a similar increase in fuel consumption. 

The best time to open the windows is when driving at a low speed, whilst your car’s air conditioning system will be most effective when you are driving on the motorway.

In fact, everything from the heater blowers, lights and sound systems in your car will be using additional power, which can slightly impact fuel economy. Only use what you need, and you could notice an improvement in fuel efficiency.


You Should Keep Up With Car Maintenance

Whilst it may sound counterintuitive to invest money in car maintenance, this can help you to avoid expensive repairs in future, and help you save money on fuel by improving your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. 

Even seemingly unrelated tasks such as changing the engine oil in your vehicle can make a difference in this regard, which can in turn keep your vehicle functioning properly.

It is always better to act now to keep your vehicle in excellent condition, than to deal with greater expenses later down the line. 


We hope that these 10 tips can help you make the fuel in your vehicle last longer. If you would like a professional mechanic to service your car, you can easily find a skilled garage near you by using BookMyGarage.

Take control of your vehicle’s health and improve your car's fuel economy today.


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