Cutting costs

Drive To Save Money

Safe in the knowledge the average UK driver could save £300 each year in just following a few basic rules, give a copy of this fact sheet to all of your drivers. Don’t forget to keep one for yourself. Also, remember most of your drivers will be driving more miles than the average so you will save even more. With prices continuing to rise, now is an excellent time to advise your drivers to learn to drive more efficiently.

Before Moving Off

If you can merge or double up on journeys then do so. Shorter journeys don’t allow the engine to warm up enough. A cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can take four or five miles to become effective. Therefore avoid short journeys if you can.

Make Sure You Drive Light

Try to lighten your load if possible by removing heavy objects and clear your boot of unnecessary items so that you can travel as lightly as possible. If you carry excess weight in a vehicle you will increases fuel consumption as your car has to work harder to accelerate.

Stay Aerodynamic

By removing roof boxes and racks if not being used. Remember that car designers spend fortunes striving to make their vehicles as aerodynamic as possible. Adding a roof box or rack spoils this by increasing drag on your car, making your engine work harder and increasing fuel usage, particularly at high speeds.

Check Tyre Pressure

Check pressures frequently, ie at least once a month and before long journeys. Under-inflated tyres are not only dangerous and but also increase your fuel consumption. While checking tyre pressure, it is also advisable to check the depth of the tyre tread to ensure they are legally compliant.

Do Not Sit There Warming The Engine

Quite simply, modern engines don’t need to be “warmed up” so idling before you start a journey simply wastes fuel and causes engine wear. Start the car and just drive off gently and smoothly.

When Driving

Remember that fuel efficient driving techniques cut your fuel costs and also save money by reducing the wear and tear on your car.

Switch The Engine Off

If it is safe to do so, turn off your engine when stationary for more than a minute or two. Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they’re re-started without pressing the accelerator so you won’t waste lots of fuel turning the car back on. Even better, as many car manufacturers have introduced ‘stop-start’ technology invest in one of these models. The car shuts off the engine when the car is stopped and re-starts it when the driver hits the accelerator.

Drive Smoothly

Anticipate the road as far ahead as possible to avoid unnecessary braking and sharp acceleration. Decelerate early when slowing down. All obvious but necessary to save money and it will make you a safer driver.

Remember Driving at 85mph uses approximately 25% more fuel than 70mph, so slow down and avoid excessive speeds when possible. When driving, shift to a higher gear as soon as possible. Your car reduces its fuel consumption when you are driving at lower engine speeds. Change up a gear between 2000 and 2500 revolutions per minute (rpm).

Close Your Windows

If travelling at 60mph or more – The aerodynamic drag on your car of an open window at speeds of 60mph or more adds to your fuel usage so keep your windows closed at high speeds.

Use The Air Conditioning Sparingly

Your engine has to work harder to power the air conditioning components. If you are driving at low speed, open the window instead.

Speed

If you are really serious about saving money when you drive then you should aim to keep your speed between 45mph and 50mph to maximise fuel efficiency. This is the optimum speed range to do so but make sure you always abide by any speed limit set.

Directgov

To find out how much it costs to drive your car, go to the Directgov website where there is a fuel consumption search tool which details the tax and fuel costs of running your car.

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