How to save money on petrol from braking less to never fully filling your tank

Making some small changes could save you money on petrol and diesel, according to motoring experts.

As fuel prices soaring, saving pennies is as important as ever.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen gas costs spike with the UK now facing a cost of living crisis.

Richard Williams, Head of Transport Policy at The Consumer Council, explained that the cost of international crude oil has nearly doubled in the last 12 months.

Speaking to Belfast Live, he said: “That increase was taking place steadily but as the world economies were coming out of Covid, demand was increasing,”

He added: “But with the situation in Ukraine over the last week and the huge uncertainty, that’s caused uncertainty on the international markets about the supply chains remaining intact. All of this has meant prices have really shot up in crude oil.

“It probably hasn’t quite worked its way through to the pumps yet even though we’re seeing these increases. The analytics are suggesting this is not going away quickly and it’s probably not peaked yet.”

However, there are some ways you could save money by making your petrol or diesel last a little bit longer.

Fuel prices have spiked but there are some ways to save money on your petrol.

Check tire pressure

Tires when under-inflated by just 15psi will use six per cent more fuel on average.

However, checking tire pressure on a regular basis will help you cut down on costs.

By making sure that your tires are inflated you’ll be able to get an additional 26 miles from a 60-litre tank of fuel, and this can help you save up to £65 on your annual fuel bill.

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Hand man checking air pressure air car tire.
Keeping an eye on your tire pressure is important.

Don’t use the air conditioning or heating

As tempting as it is to always have the air con or heating on blast, cutting down on regular and unnecessary use of these features will help make your petrol last longer.

Consider wearing an additional layer of clothing in cold weather or rolling down the windows in the summer months to avoid putting additional strain on the engine.

More strain will burn more fuel, especially while driving at lower speeds.

Take care when the car is cold

Another important piece of advice for the colder months is to make sure to drive slowly while your car is starting to warm up.

Cold engines tend to be less efficient, and if you drive fast right from the start you’ll end up wasting fuel and putting pressure on the engine, which will wear it out much more easily.

However, don’t let your engine idle. While the engines of older cars may have required drivers to leave it for a bit to warm up, modern cars have been created so they will run from the moment they’re started.

Car on the street covered by icy rain
Cold engines are less sufficient…

Look into fuel-efficient tires

Tires are thought to contribute to 20 per cent of a car’s fuel consumption.

If you want to reduce fuel consumption, try choosing tires which have a lower rolling resistance.

Energy-efficient tires will result in the driver getting a higher mileage out of their vehicle, which in turn can save up to 440 liters of fuel over the tire’s lifetime.

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Learn to drive economically

Taking an advanced driving course will teach you how to adjust your driving style to make it more economical.

These courses can teach you methods including driving smoothly, accelerating gently, being more aware of hazards to avoid unnecessary braking, and to keep rolling where possible so you don’t stop then start again.

Look at fuel cashback deals

If you’re looking into getting a new credit card or store loyalty cards, try shopping around for a provider that also offers fuel cashback benefits.

For instance, the Santander 123 credit card offers 3 per cent cashback at all major petrol stations. Similarly, Tesco Clubcard offers five points for every £4 spent on Tesco fuel.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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