How to improve fuel economy

How to improve fuel economy 16th September 2014

In a tough economic climate, people are always trying to cut costs, whether it be with regard to spending on heating the home, budgeting when it comes to food, or sacrificing holidays, but did you know that running a car is actually one of the biggest expenses Brits face? 

In a study published in the Daily Express, it was found that the average British car costs £3,453 per year to run, with £2,256 of this spent on fuel alone. The current average price of a litre of unleaded is approaching 129p, and diesel comes in at 133p. This quickly adds up, but it doesn't have to be as expensive as you might think.

By driving more efficiently, British drivers can save themselves hundreds of pounds per year. So what kinds of mistakes are people making that cause their cars to be less efficient, and how can they improve their fuel economy?


Over-revving the engine is the most common problem. The issue is that most see the rev counter as just another dial on the dashboard, and will typically let the needle hit 3,000 revs per minute before shifting up a gear. In reality, you should be changing at 2,500 in order to put less strain on your engine and thereby considerably improving your fuel economy.

Braking and accelerating  

Gradually braking and accelerating is probably the most well-known tactic for improving economy, but it's also one of the most effective. If you gently apply the brakes when approaching junctions and pull away in a steady fashion rather than braking sharply and pulling away quickly, your fuel will go that bit further. 


The same applies to your speed. It may take a little longer to get to your chosen destination if you take your speed down a little, but you'll do so with a little more change in your pocket. The Department for Transport says driving at 70mph will use nine per cent more fuel than at 60mph, and 15 per cent more than at 50mph, so it can pay to ease off the accelerator and just enjoy the journey.


Finally, you should always make sure that you're checking your tyres every so often. Poorly inflated, badly worn or damaged tyres will all mean your car having to work harder to accelerate, and this uses more fuel. All it takes is a little walk around the car to make sure the tyres have no bulges or cuts and have even tread. You can also use most foot pumps to be sure the pressure in the tyre matches recommended levels in your vehicle's handbook. 

If you do need new tyres, book an appointment as soon as possible to start improving your fuel economy. 

Posted by Danielle Barge