As the cost of living rises, Brits are doing everything they can to keep their outgoings to an absolute minimum wherever possible – one expert shares his tips on how to keep petrol costs down while you drive
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This unwanted jump could see Brits £708 further out of pocket, enough to put hard-up families into deep trouble – and that’s before any of the other many price hikes are taken into account.
Fuel prices are at an astronomical high, with petrol forecourts making for grim reading. The RAC reports that as of March 31, the average petrol price in the UK sat at a whopping 163.28p per litre.
But despite the government’s inability to go out to bat for those who need a little extra help, there are things we can all do on the roads to help keep the needle out of the red and make our tanks go further.
Ben Newman, findandfundmycar ’s resident expert, has offered some tip-top advice on how to eke out every penny from an (extremely expensive) tank.
Keep your petrol cap closed
According to Ben, one good place to start is with the petrol cap.
He said: “Ensuring your petrol cap is closed really tight can help your car gain some extra mileage and go that little bit further. Petrol is a liquid, and when a liquid gets too hot, it’ll evaporate into the air.
“Think about it: if your cap is extremely tight, then the petrol will have nowhere to go. This ensures that your fuel stays in the car rather than seeping through the cap and into the air. So when you next head out to your car, double-check that the cap is as tight as it can be.”
Make your car lighter
This one might seem obvious, but the lighter your car is the less work the engine has to do.
Ben said: “The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it uses.
“I’m not suggesting that everyone swaps their bigger cars for something smaller, but what I’m suggesting is taking out any junk in your car that isn’t needed for that specific trip.”
He added: “If you’ve got a boot full of stuff that you’re not using, and your car is fitted with bike racks and a towing vehicle, then empty the boot and leave the extra kit at home to make your car lighter.”
Check your tyre pressures are just right
To make your tank work efficiently, you need the rest of your motor to be too. A great place to start is with your tyres.
Ben said: “Tyre rolling resistance, which is the effort required to keep a tyre rolling as you’re driving, counts for around 15% of all fuel consumption. This consumption is why it’s important to keep your tyre pressure high.
“Not only does it mean you’ll be driving safely, but you’ll also be saving fuel.”
Turn off the engine
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What better way to save fuel than to not use any – according to Ben, cutting out the engine altogether whenever you can is a good way to go.
He said: “If you’re stuck in traffic, or you’ve been stationary for longer than a minute or so, then turn your engine off. Leaving your car running even while not moving will burn through fuel quite quickly. Not only that, but it’s also bad for the environment.”
He continued: “If you can see that the traffic in front of you is at a standstill, then don’t wishfully think that it’ll start speeding up soon – turn the engine off and wait until you see some movement.”
Be smooth on the gas
The big trick to getting a lot out of your tank is driving smoothly.
“Bad driving habits can seriously affect how much fuel you use and it’s the biggest contributor to wasted petrol and diesel,” said Ben
“Speeding, braking and rapid acceleration waste both petrol and diesel, so it’s important that you drive sensibly: no sudden brakes and no sudden acceleration. Drive less like a racecar driver, and more like a road driver.”