The festive season involves a lot of logistics - visiting friends and family, popping into multiple Christmas attractions, and buying holiday supplies. Taking into account the current fuel costs, it inevitably leads to more money spent. Thankfully, there are a few hacks that can help you save fuel while not giving up on moving around.
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A lot of them have to do with driving styles and are things we probably didn’t even know were burning more fuel.
Don’t overload your car
The heavier the car, the more fuel it consumes. Where possible, try to lighten your car's load. As reported by Express, Dorry Potter, car and scrappage expert at National Scrap Car, said:
It’s easy to get into the habit of using our car boots as an extra bit of storage- especially if you are needing to hide a big Christmas gift from a little one, however, doing so will burn more fuel and cost you more.
So before setting off in your car, make sure you are only carrying what is necessary to help your fuel last longer.
Plan in advance
Before starting a longer trip, look out for travel information that may affect it, such as any congested areas or roadworks which are likely to result in you sitting in traffic and wasting fuel.
If planning on driving somewhere new and unfamiliar, having a navigation system will also help avoid the chances of getting lost and driving around aimlessly, using excessive fuel.
Where you can - walk instead
Instead of making several short trips, combine them to lessen the need to go out and start the engine many times.
Short trips don’t allow the engine to reach optimum operating temperature meaning vehicles are going to be the least energy and fuel-efficient at the start of a journey when the engine is cold.
Ditch these bad driving habits
Poor driving style could also be having a big impact on how much fuel you’re using. If a car has a manual gearbox, for example, try to reduce engine revving as much as possible.
Change gears as smoothly and early as possible to avoid overworking the car and causing it to use more fuel. Heavy acceleration and rapidly changing speed should also be avoided. Drive defensively.
Pay attention to tyres
Make sure the tyres are well-maintained and in good condition. If the tyre pressure is too low, it will cause rolling resistance which will lead to higher fuel consumption.
If unsure of a vehicle’s correct pressure level, check the owner’s manual, on a sticker on the edge of the door, or in the fuel cap. The air machine can be set to that recommended level whether at home or at a petrol station.
Shop around for fuel
Fuel costs can vary wildly between different areas and different petrol stations. Finding the best deals is an easy way to reduce your potential fuel costs.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:
Our data shows that, without advertising the fact, Asda has taken an average of 4.5p off the cost of a litre of unleaded across its 320 sites in the last two days, and around 5.5p off diesel.
According to Williams, Asda is now charging an average of 153.5p for petrol and 176.7p for diesel which is around 2p less than its rivals.
Motorists should look out for potential deals that supermarkets may offer such as vouchers for cheaper fuel.
- Express: 'How to save money on petrol and diesel over the festive period- the 'bad habits' to ditch'
- Daily Express: ''Finally!' Major retailer cuts petrol and diesel prices amid backlash'