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How To Make Your Commute More Fuel Efficient

Millions of people in the UK commute to work in a car every day. In fact, more than a third of the population drives to work.

But with rising petrol costs it’s becoming increasingly more expensive to do so. Not to mention the impact on the environment.

How To Make Your Commute More Fuel Efficient

That’s why we’ve put together this article packed with advice for how to reduce the amount of fuel you use and reduce the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle.

1.     Change the way you drive

One of the best ways to cut your fuel consumption is simply improve your technique, which can save up to 30% of costs.

The keys are to be less aggressive with the accelerator pedal, change up a gear as soon as you can without straining the engine, and avoid heavy breaking.

Acceleration burns far more fuel than maintaining a steady pace. On the other hand, every time you brake it’s because you’ve either accelerated too hard or you’re going to need to accelerate again. So take your time, give yourself more space behind the car in front, and enjoy the savings.

2.     Reduce the cargo

You may not think it, but all that extra stuff you’re lugging around in your boot increases the amount of fuel you use. So clear it out and save money.

Anything you don’t need for the journey or the day should be removed from the car. The little things add up and you’ll be surprised how much you can save with a proper clear out (although don’t remove safety gear or emergency supplies!).

Another way to reduce fuel is to not maintain a completely full tank. If you can make a journey with half a tank, do that rather than fill it up before you leave.

3. Don’t blast the air con

Air conditioning increases car fuel consumption by a quarter. At the time of writing this article, Britain is going through a heatwave so this may seem easier said than done but – try to use the air conditioning less. Opening air vents or windows are more fuel-efficient ways to keep the inside of the car cool.

Likewise, try not to use the heater too much in the winter. Wrap up warm, and if you need to use it turn it on for long enough to warm the car comfortably, and then turn it off.

4.     Share a ride

Carpooling is one of the very best ways to reduce fuel costs. If you’ve got colleagues who live in a similar area to you, try to find a way to share journeys and you’ll be amazed at the savings.

You don’t even have to do it every day – even just 1 or 2 days a week can make a big difference.

Not only does carpooling save yourself and your colleagues pennies, it helps reduce environmental impact and cuts traffic congestion.

5. Park well

There are a few things you can do when parking to reduce your fuel costs.

The first is to park further away from work – meaning you walk the last leg of the journey. If you work in an urban environment, this can be especially beneficial because cars use a lot of fuel in stop-start city traffic.

You can also use apps to help you find available spaces more quickly. This is far better for fuel efficiency than going round and round trying to find a spot.

6. Plan your petrol station stops

Petrol station prices vary wildly. It may seem like just a few pence when you look at the sign, but over a whole tank and over several re-fuels it really makes a difference.

So keep an eye out for stations that advertise lower prices on your way to work and try to plan your major re-fuels around them. If you want to save keeping your eye out for cheap ones, there are online services that can help you find the cheapest petrol near you.

7. Keep an eye on your tyre pressure

Keeping your tyres inflated to the right level can make a difference to your fuel consumption over time. It’s worth checking them at least once for this reason and to reduce your maintenance costs, because under or over-inflated tyres wear more quickly.

Inflating your tyres is quick and almost free at most petrol stations, so there’s no excuse not to do it.

8. Re-think your work schedule

More and more workplaces are offering flexible working hours these days. If your organisation does, or would be inclined to consider it, it’s worth discussing whether you can alter your schedule.

Starting and finishing earlier or later could help you avoid rush hour, thereby cutting fuel costs.

And if you can, working from home every now and then can drastically reduce your mileage.

9. Dodge the traffic

Road congestion is one of the worst things for fuel efficiency. All that stopping, accelerating and braking really cuts your MPG.

So before you set off, check the traffic reports. If possible, find efficient routes that avoid the traffic. One popular service for checking traffic reports before you leave is TomTom Traffic.

10. Be time-efficient

There are always ways to be more efficient with your commuting time that can help you save on fuel.

Carrying out errands while commuting saves extra journeys and therefore time and fuel consumption. For example, doing food shopping on your homeward journey will save an extra trip. Likewise, combining other errands like going to the gym with your commute can really add up to lower fuel costs.

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