Petrol and diesel prices have soared in recent weeks, and still remain near record highs despite a slight drop. To help you lower your costs, Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert website has explained all the ways to be more fuel efficient
Martin Lewis ’ MoneySavingExpert website has explained five things you must do now to lower your fuel costs.
Petrol and diesel prices have soared in recent weeks, and still remain near record highs despite a slight drop.
The rising costs saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduce a 5p-a-litre cut to fuel duty, in an attempt to lower costs for drivers.
But research from the RAC suggests that the cut isn’t being passed on to drivers in full.
Petrol has fallen less than 4p, and diesel by less than 3p, it said last week.
The average price for a litre of petrol has fallen to 163.28p per litre, while diesel has fallen to 177.29p.
If you’re looking for ways to lower your driving costs, Martin’s MoneySavingExpert team has shared their top tips in an article online.
Make your car more fuel efficient
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There are some really simple things you can do to your car to make it more fuel efficient on the road, says MSE.
For example, keep your tyres inflated to their maximum level – but don’t overinflate them – as lower pressure can increase the drag on your car.
“Regularly check the pressures are correct (overinflating your tyres will also use more fuel) and your car will need less oomph to keep it moving,” said MSE.
Other tips include lowering the weight of your car by decluttering any junk on your seats or boot, taking off any roof racks and only filling up your car with fuel to around half or three-quarters of the way full.
Turning off your air con when driving at lower speeds and saving cruise control for flat roads, such as motorways, will also help your fuel consumption.
Expensive driving mistakes
Change your driving habits
Driving more smoothly – so accelerating gradually and changing up a gear as soon as you can – is another way to make your car more fuel efficient.
Where it is safe to do so, you should also allow yourself to slow naturally rather than hitting the brakes.
“When you press the brake you are effectively converting the energy you’ve paid to put into the car into heat,” said MSE.
“Instead, where you can, make the most of the car’s momentum – good road positioning is crucial for this.”
Other tips you should follow to drive carefully, and more efficiently for your fuel gauge, is to keep moving if you can and avoid coasting in neutral.
Coasting in neutral is dangerous as you always need to be able to access the accelerator in the event of an emergency.
Compare petrol and diesel prices
It is free to compare petrol and diesel prices online. One of the most popular websites to do this is PetrolPrices.com.
You’ll first need to register, which is free to do. Next, enter your postcode and tell it how far you’re willing to travel for fuel and what fuel type you’re after.
The website will then list the cheapest filling stations in your area, covering around 8,500 forecourts across the UK.
“For a Durham postcode, the price of unleaded within a five-mile radius on March 4 ranged from 147.8p/litre to 157.9p/litre,” said MSE.
“While the difference per litre may be pennies, in terms of percentage that’s an increase of almost 7%.”
Pay using a cashback credit card
Cashback credit cards pay you back each time you spend on them – but you need to make sure you’re able to pay them off in full each month.
If you don’t, you’ll accrue interest and this will effectively wipe out any cashback gain.
“You can get 5% bonus cashback on everything you buy, up to a maximum £100 with our top-pick American Express reward card,” said MSE.
“After the introductory bonus, cashback is then tiered up to 1%, though you need to spend £3,000+ a year to get any cashback. ”
Car share if you can
If you’re good friends with your work colleagues, check if you can car share and split the price of petrol.
The same goes if you’re going out with family – always drive in just one car if you can to save on costs.
MSE says there are also a few sites that connect people doing the same journey, including Liftshare and BlaBlaCar.
Both allow you to input the journey you want to take before connecting you with other people going in the same direction.
“The sites store details securely, but when it comes to travelling it’s important to be vigilant,” warned MSE.
“Arrange to meet for the first time in a public place, let friends or relatives know what you’re doing and check their ID to ensure they are who they say they are.”
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