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Ever had a murmur of anxiety when filling your car up with fuel?  Does the sight of the forecourt with its illuminated price board send your brain into a tizzy of calculus and mild panic as your current month’s fuel budget reaches yet another new high?  For most drivers, the rising cost of fuel is a worry we all share and while it may not keep you awake at night or invoke convulsions, recent insurance premium hikes, road tax, congestion and parking charges should be enough for any cost-conscious driver to ask themselves well, is this worth it?  A quick tote of annual spending on car costs including servicing should be enough to steer drivers in the direction of a more cost efficient answer to ones fuel fatigue.

The first thing is to check your miles per gallon (MPG).  The higher the better as your car will use fuel more efficiently therefore saving you pounds at the pump.  Simply fill the tank and record the mileage and the amount of fuel purchased in litres.  When you next fill up make sure you fill the tank to the same level.  Then divide the total mileage since the first fill by the total number of litres used.  Then multiply by 4.546 to get miles per gallon.  If say I covered 450.5 miles and used 58 litres of fuel in my Ford Focus 2.0i Duratec Automatic then my average MPG is (450.5/58 X 4.546) = 35.3.  Bear in mind that the cost of a mile in the city to a mile on the motorway can vary significantly, with some cars costing twice as much to fuel a drive in the metropolis than it would on a four lane carriageway.

Common sense is a big help if you want to save fuel and increase your MPG.  Think about all the factors that can increase your fuel consumption.

  • Often car boots can become junk yards for storing things like flat pack furniture that never gets assembled or heavy tools.  Even the most miscellaneous of items add up and this combined weight directly affects your motoring costs.  Simple answer: clear your car of clutter.
  • Don’t leave your air-con on continuously.  Turning it off when not needed along with any other electrical components such as lights, demisters and radios will save fuel as any increase in electrical load will increase fuel consumption.
  • Underinflated tyres not only cause your engine to burn more fuel but are actually dangerous.
  • Do not speed.  The greater the speed the greater the fuel consumption and the greater the pollution.   Aim to drive smoothly by decelerating in time and reducing the need for excessive braking.
  • Avoid idling by switching off the engine if you could be waiting for more than a few minutes.
  • Other tips could be combining short trips, planning routes to avoid getting lost and even walking or cycling on short journeys as fuel consumption and pollution is more evident when an engine is started cold and used for short urban journeys.

On average a person should see around 10% savings per week with these tips and even up to 33% for some vehicles.

The Car People: car dealers in Manchester, Sheffield and Wakefield.