10 Driving Tips to Save You Money When You're Driving
Your driving style, the pressure of your tyres, and other seemingly unimportant factors can actually affect your car’s fuel efficiency. A big chunk of your expenses as a car owner goes to fuel, car maintenance, and repairs. If you want to save on fuel and other car-related expenses when driving on UK roads, we’ve gathered ten actionable tips you can use immediately. 😃
1. Check Tyre Pressure Regularly
Your tyres need to have the right pressure for the car to run safely and efficiently. Under-inflated or mis-aligned tyres will wear out unevenly and prematurely so you’d have to change tyres more often.
Not sure about the correct tyre pressure? Simply check the owner’s manual of your vehicle or check the sticker found on the door pillar on the driver’s side. If you’re having trouble finding it, you can also perform an online search and you’ll find the answer on the internet. Just remember to specify the make and model of your vehicle.
2. Follow the Speed Limit
When you drive faster, your vehicle consumes more fuel. For example, on the motorway, if your speed is at 80mph, you’ll be using about 25% more fuel compared to driving at just 70mph. Also, whenever you accelerate, do so smoothly to lower your fuel consumption. Here’s a guide to help you: keep your revs between 1,500 and 2,500rpm for petrol engines and for diesel engines, 1,200 and 2,000rpm.
3. Save on Fuel Costs at the Supermarket
Do you know that filling up your tank is more expensive at petrol stations than in supermarkets? For every litre of petrol, you can save about £5 if you top up at the supermarket so you may want to remember to do this the next time you go shopping for groceries. And keep an eye on which supermarkets are under-cutting their rivals! Petrol is also more affordable in cities compared to rural areas. Although sometimes it's even cheaper in small towns! If you ever go for a long drive to the countryside, make sure that you fill up your tank while you’re still in the town or city.
4. Choose an Eco-friendly Car
A more drastic approach to saving money is shifting from a conventional vehicle into a green car such as a hybrid or full-electric car. While eco-friendly cars have more expensive price tags, they are cheaper to run and maintain so they’re more cost-efficient in the long run. You can also save money from tax exemptions, congestion charge exemptions and also receive government grants if you buy an electric car. 😊
5. Install Your Own Home Charger
Not all drivers who have electric cars can install their own home chargers, especially if they live in a flat in a busy city. In order to have a home charger, off-road parking like a garage or driveway is necessary.
However, if you do have this, then it’s better for you to have a home charger installed because it’s going to be cheaper compared to charging your electric car at public charge points. Of course, you have to be prepared to spend on the installation but over time, this will be worthwhile. Currently you can claim up to 70% of the cost of installation with a government grant, but you must complete installation before April 2022.
6. Charge Your EV at Free Charging Points
There are many free charging points available, all you have to do is find one near your home. A good number of car parks, retail parks, and businesses provide free charging to their customers. You might want to check if your favourite establishments offer this so you can enjoy the privilege.
Supermarkets are also a good place to find free charging points since many of them have partnerships with Pod Point. But what if you can’t find free chargers around your area? Charging your EV is still cheaper than petrol but you might want to avoid using ultra-rapid public chargers since those could be costly.
7. Use Your Sat Nav
For drivers who frequently travel to unfamiliar areas, you can save a lot of fuel, as well as time, if you prepare for your trip. For example, plan your route ahead to lower the chances of you getting lost, driving in circles, and ultimately wasting money.
You can use your sat nav through a smartphone app if you don’t have a dedicated device. It can easily suggest the quickest way to your destination. It’s also a good idea to use a sat nav to avoid heavy traffic and even areas with large hills that could use up a lot of fuel to drive on.
8. Check Your Boot and Remove Stuff
Regularly check your boot because there might be unnecessary things there that are making the vehicle heavier. Bicycle carriers, external boxes, and roof racks are some of the things that add weight to your car so see to it that you remove them when not needed.
With extra weight, your engine needs to work much harder so the car can go faster and this consumes more fuel. Increased wind resistance can also affect the car’s fuel consumption so check for any ill-fitting trim pieces or bent bodywork. Opened windows can also cause drag so if you’ll be driving at faster speeds, you may want to close them first.
9. Skip Warming Up the Engine
Popular belief states that drivers should warm up their engines before driving the car. However, this is not entirely true. What you can do instead is drive the vehicle gently rather than just leaving it on to warm up. Doing it this way will allow the engine to warm up faster without consuming as much fuel.
During winter, it’s also better to use a de-icing spray or an ice scraper to clean the windscreen. Try not to rely so much on the heat produced by leaving your car running. Make sure that you know how to de-ice your windscreen correctly so as not to damage it.
10. Turn Off Equipment When Not In Use
In today’s vehicles, the most fuel-consuming equipment is air conditioning. Only use it when you absolutely have to, otherwise, turn it off. Not only that, your de-misters and headlights, as well as the heated rear screen can be turned off when not needed to save fuel.
Now you have ten tips to use so you can save money while still enjoying the benefits of owning a car. Of course, don’t forget to get your vehicle serviced regularly as well so that the auto mechanic can spot any issues before they become a real expensive problem!
Carmoola has lots of interesting blogs to help you with all things cars, car finance and useful information for when you are out and about driving - why not check out our complete guide on everything you need to know about driving in the UK? 👍🚘