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Smart Driving

Advice on smart driving

Our top tips for smart driving; fuel efficient driving techniques cut fuel costs and reduce the wear and tear on your car

  • Switch it 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.
  • Shift to a higher gear as soon as possible – Driving at lower engine speeds reduces fuel consumption. Change up a gear between 2000 and 2500 revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Drive smoothly – Anticipate the road as far ahead as possible to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. Decelerate early when slowing down.
  • Slow down – Avoid excessive speeds when possible. Driving at 85mph uses approximately 25% more fuel than 70mph.
  • 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. Keep your windows closed at high speeds.
  • Check tyre pressure frequently – 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.
  • Lighten your load – Carrying excess weight in a vehicle increases fuel consumption as your car has to work harder to accelerate. Remove heavy objects and clear your boot of unnecessary items so that you can travel as lightly as possible.
  • Air conditioning – use air conditioning sparingly as your engine has to work harder to power the air conditioning machinery. If driving at low speed, open the window instead.
  • Remove roof boxes and racks if not being used – Car designers strive 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.
  • Don’t warm the engine – modern engines don’t need to be warmed up, so idling before you start a journey simply wastes precious fuel.

Fuel efficient driving advice and tips from the Energy Saving Trust»

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