We all want to make a tank of fuel last as long as possible, especially with rising petrol prices and the recent 'panic buying' problem. While this has eased slightly, there is still the possibility of shortages in the future.

So, how can you avoid being drawn into the madness and make your petrol last longer?. Well, consider adopting these fuel-saving tips. They're all totally free and will help you save pounds at the pump all year long. 

Here are our top 8 tips for making petrol last longer.

 

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Check Tyre Pressure

Under-inflated tyres increase your car's rolling resistance. This increases your fuel consumption as your engine has to work harder to keep you moving. According to the RAC, a tyre under-inflated by just 15psi can use 6% more fuel. That means you can spend an extra £65 at the pump every year! Keeping your tyres at the correct pressure is a short and simple task that can eke out an extra few miles from each tank.

Many petrol stations allow you to check your tyre pressure for free using their machines. Your vehicle handbook will tell you the correct psi for your car and the machine will give further instructions on how to check yours. 

 

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 (such as above) to check yours.

 

 

Walk or Cycle Short Journeys Instead of Driving

Every time you switch on your car's engine, you use about 1/2 a teaspoon of petrol. While this might not seem like much, it soon adds up. Lots of short journeys are very bad for your fuel economy. They don't give your engine enough time to warm up properly, so it isn't at its most efficient. This makes a noticeable difference to your fuel consumption, especially during the winter.

Consider whether you can walk or cycle the journey instead of driving. Not only will this help your petrol last longer, but you'll also be doing your bit to combat Climate Change!

 

Remove Excess Weight

How full is your boot? If you have lots of heavy items sat in your car at all times, you might be using more fuel than necessary. The engine needs to work harder to pull all that extra weight around, so do it a favour and remove anything unnecessary before each journey. 

 

Switch Engine Off When Stationary

Idling uses up to 2 1/4 litres of fuel per hour (depending on the type and size of the engine). Even if you only idle for an hour a week, just think how many miles of fuel you're losing - not to mention the effect on the environment!

If you're stationary for more than a few seconds, switch your engine off. If you're lucky enough to own a vehicle with start-stop technology, make sure you take full advantage of this. Restarting your engine takes less fuel than you burn while idling (especially as the engine will stay warm), so this is definitely a good habit to adopt if you're looking to save fuel.

 

Brake & Accelerate Gently

You're not Lewis Hamilton, so don't drive like him. Otherwise, you will start counting the cost at the pump. Treat your vehicle like a road car and always brake and accelerate smoothly. The more aggressive you are, the more fuel you burn. Try and avoid heavy periods of braking and accelerating to make your tank of petrol last longer.

 

Remain in Gear When Slowing Down

Knocking your gearstick into neutral before you've stopped moving uses more fuel. Staying in gear activates the fuel cut-off switch which stops the system from feeding fuel into the engine under braking. This might only seem like a small saving, but they all add up.

 

Keep Your Speed Constant

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, use this as much as possible. Kia found that cruise control can reduce your fuel consumption by an average of 14% when travelling.

And that brings a lot of extra miles between fill-ups!

 

Drive in the Right Gear At All Times

A manual car always needs to be in the right gear. If you're driving at a higher speed, make sure you're in a higher gear and, at low speeds, a lower gear. If the engine is having to work harder to keep you moving, it will use more fuel.

Listen to the engine noise. If it sounds strained, you probably need to change up. 2000rpm is generally the best time to change up a gear, and 1000rpm the best time to change down.