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Fuel saving tips to combat rising petrol prices

By 10th May 2024May 13th, 2024No Comments
Image of car being topped up with fuel

You might have noticed that once again rising fuel prices has been receiving attention. According to the latest data from the **RAC, the average price of a litre of petrol has reached 150p per litre on the forecourt for the first time since last year.

That’s why we’ve collated some top tips for drivers, to cut the amount of fuel usage by driving in an eco-friendly manner. If you think a colleague could benefit from these useful fuel-saving tips, be sure to share this advice with them. We also have a poster all about eco driving which can be downloaded here.

For drivers to consider:

  • Allow plenty of time for each journey to keep speed low. It sounds obvious, but driving at faster speeds on motorways and dual carriageways uses more fuel, not to mention the increased stress that is caused by not leaving enough time for your journey. You can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent when travelling slower than the 70-mph limit. Try pressing more lightly on the accelerator; often, you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal.
  • Try to keep driving smooth with gentle acceleration. By using the highest safe gear, you will use less fuel. Ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they are red; if you can time the arrival for the light going green, there will be less fuel used from the rolling start.
  • At roundabouts, anticipate other vehicle movements. Sometimes, if it is safe to do so, there might not be a need to stop at all if the roundabout entrance coincides with a gap in roundabout traffic.
  • Save fuel by turning off the air conditioning. When the rear window is cleared, turn off the rear screen heater. The more electricity that is produced by your vehicle, the more fuel it will use.
  • Avoid driving during rush hour as much as possible. Stopping and starting in traffic requires use of the first gear, and a lot of fuel is dispensed to get the vehicle moving again.
  • Always consider combining short trips into one longer one. Once the engine is warm, it will operate at its most efficient. Several cold starts will increase fuel consumption, even though the total mileage could be the same.

For you to consider (if you manage a fleet):

  • Ensure your fleet’s tyres are well maintained at the correct pressures. When they are due for replacement, there are brands that are designed for extra economy. Keep in mind, underinflated tyres tend to increase fuel consumption.
  • Where appropriate, ensure your drivers minimise vehicle weight as much as possible. Vehicles work just like the human body; the body needs more energy to move around larger weight, just like a vehicle. Always consider advising your drivers to remove unnecessary items that don’t need to be taken on their journey.
  • Shop around. Thanks to the Competition and Markets Authority’s review of fuel pricing, most fuel retailers publish their prices. This means there are multiple apps, such as MyRAC, among others, that can give you the cheapest local price. Do not assume that supermarkets are automatically the lowest-priced.
  • If your drivers operate a plug-in vehicle, make sure they maximise the potential by charging the battery. The increased weight of the vehicle will mean that, in the long run, the actual mpg will be far short of the claims. But over short journeys and by using electric where possible, your running costs will reduce.

IAM RoadSmart Policy and Standards Director Nick Lyes comments: “Fuel is expensive, but a few small changes in the way we prepare our vehicles and plan our journeys can make a big difference in our fuel consumption. Remember that safety, reducing emissions, and fuel saving can be complementary if we drive effectively.”

*** Prices are based on data collected by the RAC

To give your drivers a comprehensive guide on maximising fuel economy, consider our flagship on-road training course – Driving for Work. The course is delivered in your drivers’ own car, with a highly experienced Approved Driving Instructor – and includes a module specifically targeted at fuel economy. For more information, get in touch.

James Wallis

Author James Wallis

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