5 tips for making you fuel go further
As experts in car hire and van hire with almost 50 years of experience behind us here at Intack Self Drive, we know a fair bit about making your fuel go further. And we know that’s never been more important - fuel prices have absolutely skyrocketed in the last few months. With the average price of unleaded petrol reaching more than 155p per litre, it’s no wonder many people are looking for ways to make their full tank last as long as possible. We’ve got a couple of those for you right here - these are our top tips on how to get the most out of your fuel!
Ensure your tyre pressure is correct
Having over or under-inflated tyres isn’t just a safety hazard, it also takes a massive toll on your fuel consumption. This is because flat tyres create more friction on the road when you’re driving, making it more difficult to keep your car stable, which in turn wastes more fuel. If your tyres are under-inflated by 20% (around 6 psi) - they can use up to 10% more fuel, which will cost you an extra £1.05 for every 50 miles you drive.
Checking your tyres on a regular basis (every 2 weeks is just fine) and keeping them pumped up can save you a nice lump of around £200 a year on fuel, possibly even more depending on how the crisis progresses.
Cut down on your electric use
It’s not unusual for people to think that the electrical features in each car are powered solely by its car battery. This is half right - actually your battery gets its charge from the engine, which uses a degree of fuel to do this. So in other words, whenever you use the electrical features in your car, that has a cumulative impact on your fuel consumption.
For example, air conditioning in a car can use up to 1 litre of fuel for every 60 miles of distance you travel with it on. That’s an extra £1.67 in petrol for every 60 miles you travel. Over time these small costs do add up, so it’s important to make sure you only use these extra features when you actually need. So for example, perhaps consider simply rolling down a window instead of using the air conditioning, or keeping your wipers on a low setting to deal with a light drizzle rather than whacking them on full.
Start your engine when you’re actually ready to go
Look, we get it. On a cold January morning when your car is completely frosted over, you will need to stick the heating on for a bit just to get it warmed up and ready to go. However, on a warm summer’s day when your car essentially turns into an oven on wheels, there’s really no need to start up the engine before you intend to set off.
Idling your vehicle can use up to two litres of fuel per hour (we know you won’t be leaving it this long but those little intervals do add up!), as well as emitting over 5.26kg of CO2, and costing you around £3.20 in fuel for every hour that you leave it idle.
If your car is equipped with a stop-start system, it’s helpful to make sure this is turned on to conserve fuel whilst you’re stationary. And always keep in mind to set your sat nav, check your messages and make any calls before you start your engine up. It’ll make a big difference in the long run!
Be a smooth operator
As you may remember from your driving theory tests, your car uses the most fuel when it’s braking and accelerating. Why is this the case? Well to be honest, it’s more the way you brake rather than braking itself which ends up costing you more fuel in the long run.
To explain a little bit further - say you’re cruising down the road at 40mph and you spot a traffic light up ahead that’s just turned yellow, and is going to switch to red. Instead of waiting until the last possible moment to slam on your brakes, you can save fuel by gradually easing your foot down onto your brake pedal, slowing down the braking process. Why? Because slamming on your brakes isn’t just damaging to your rotors and brakes, it also means you’ll need to accelerate from a static position, which requires a lot of energy, and therefore fuel.
When you slow down your braking process, you increase the chances that you might not have to come to a complete stop. That red light might turn back to green by the time you reach it, so you won’t have to accelerate as much, saving you fuel in the long run.
Combine short errands
As we’ve pointed out above, stopping and starting your car from cold is the most fuel consuming thing you can do with your vehicle. Cold engines can actually use up twice as much fuel to start them up compared to warm engines. This is because, much like people, cars need an extra boost in fuel to keep them operating normally when conditions are colder. It’s only when the engine reaches its standard operating temperature, that it can then function at its most efficient rate.
So if you’re out running a few errands, or having to head to multiple locations in a day, try and combine your journeys to make the most of your car while it’s still warm. When it’s possible, try to make one round trip instead of multiple short ones to avoid starting your engine from cold.
These are all small changes that you can make to your everyday driving habits that will greatly improve the efficiency of your fuel consumption. In these times of record high fuel prices though - you can always count on us to get you record low prices on car and van hire deals, right here at Intack Self Drive.
We’ll provide you with quality rental vehicles to suit your needs. Our fleet now spans over 300 cars, vans and minibuses, so whether you’re a business owner looking for vehicles to meet your company requirements, or just a private customer looking for a personal car for short-term use, you can count on us to have exactly the right vehicle at exactly the right price. Feel free to give us a call on 01254 57811, and we’ll be happy to help however we can!