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12 Easy ways to save fuel and money

Reduce your motoring costs with our helpful guide

Most motorists know the importance of keeping your vehicle in good condition, and how regular maintenance plays an important part in fuel efficiency. If you're like us, you'll have noticed your purse strings complaining a little more than usual every time you visit the forecourt lately, with fuel costs rising steeply across the country.

So to help you reclaim a few pounds each time you fill up, we've compiled a list of 12 proven tips to improve your fuel efficiency – and maybe your driving.

1. Check your tyre pressure

If you're not checking your tyre pressure every week or two, and prior to taking long trips, you're not only increasing the risk of an accident, you're using too much fuel. Under-inflated tyres can reduce your fuel economy by a significant 5%, and can increase tyre wear by up to a massive 25%.

2. Buy better tyres

Cheap tyres are false economy – a fact little-known among motorists. Buying the latest generation of low rolling-resistance tyres can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 5%. A saving worth making in our book.

3. Listen for wheel noises

If you hear unusual noises coming from your wheels, it's likely that you have worn-out wheel bearings or seized brake callipers and shoes. Any problem that creates extra friction on the wheel (remember, friction creates noise) is essentially like driving with the brakes on. Your fuel consumption will skyrocket.

4. Know when to use the Air conditioning

Over time, your air conditioning system will lose gas pressure. This is important to know because a 50% decrease in pressure can raise fuel consumption by 5%. Did you know that your air conditioning becomes more economical at speeds over about 55mph compared to opening the window as a result of increased drag?

5. The importance of oil

Everyone knows that low oil level can seriously damage your engine, but what about the importance of clean oil? Changing the engine oil in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations will reduce the wear caused by friction of moving parts, and helps to reduce fuel consumption.

6. Regular servicing pays for itself

Did you know that a clogged air filter alone can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 per cent? Regular servicing can save you up to 15% in fuel costs.

7. Lighten your load

We're all busy nowadays. And we understand how tempting it is to leave regularly-used items in your car. But every 50kg of weight can increase your fuel usage by an extra 2%. Only carry the things you need for each journey to stay light and economical.

8. Streamline your car

Did you know that roof racks and cycle carriers increase fuel consumption by up to a massive 20 per cent? If you're not using it for a journey, take it off.

9. Limit your speed

Next time you're on the motorway, bear this in mind. Driving at 90mph – in addition to being dangerous and illegal – will cost you around £1.20 more in fuel for every eight minutes of travel compared to a similar vehicle driving at 70mph.

10. Get in gear

By keeping your engine revs as low as possible, you'll noticeably reduce your fuel usage. For example, a car cruising at 40mph can use up to 20% more fuel in fourth gear compared to sixth. 

11. Take it easy

Making your car work harder than necessary increases fuel consumption. Accelerate gently and use engine braking wherever you can. 

12. Avoid rough surfaces

If you don't fancy increasing your fuel usage by up to 30%, avoid gravelly or heavy dirt surfaces. Choosing a route with smooth road surfaces is much more economical, even if it's slightly longer.

*All data is based on calculations from a typical family car

If you'd like any more helpful advice then why not pop into your local Unipart Car Care Centre - you can find one close to you by clicking here.