Drive Smarter, Not Harder: Expert Advice for Fuel and Money Savings

For drivers, cost-saving wherever possible continues to be a key focus while pump prices continue to soar and motorists face the highest increase in five months.

The most fuel-efficient and cost-effective way to tackle fluctuating fuel costs is “hypermiling”, also known as eco-driving. This method can be used in petrol and diesel vehicles and can also improve the efficiency of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Matthew Briggs, CEO at Right Fuel Card, shares five top tips on how to easily adjust your driving style and habits to make your fuel last the distance and reduce costs:

Matthew explains: “Put simply, hypermiling is achieved by maintaining the momentum of your vehicle by choosing direct routes that require the least amount of acceleration and braking possible. It’s been reported that this technique could save drivers up to 40%, making it a very appealing tactic for motorists looking to cut fuel costs.”

1. Minimise use of brakes

Using your brakes less is a popular fuel-saving technique, as it maximises your vehicle’s stored momentum and energy. This can be done by thinking ahead and taking your foot off the accelerator in advance, to prevent slamming on your brakes.

We do not recommend that you avoid using your brakes completely as this can of course be dangerous. It’s also possible to allow the regenerative braking in an electric vehicle to handle most of the braking for you.

2. Drive defensively

Anticipate events before they occur, for example, a traffic light turning red. This allows you to drive safely on the road and increases your fuel economy. It also means you can avoid harsh braking and acceleration by being prepared.

Driving faster can also create more drag and resistance, which will use more fuel. Reducing your speed by 20mph can increase your MPG (miles per gallon) by up to 45% so slow and steady is always the best way forward.

3. Get fuel for the best price

Sometimes the most convenient petrol stations are not necessarily the best priced. It’s crucial to plan journeys in advance to avoid an urgent refuel at a more expensive station, such as those found on motorways. By using tools such as a petrol station finder, you can identify cheaper fuel stations along your journey.

Where possible, opt for filling up your tank in the mornings, as temperatures tend to be colder. This can get you more for your money as fuel expands in warmer weather. Therefore, the warmer the weather, the less fuel your tank will be able to hold.

4. Shop around

Look out for any deals associated with your bank accounts and be open to shopping around if necessary. As well as getting a reward for switching your bank account, you can often get cashback for fuel purchases too. 

Furthermore, supermarkets that offer shopping points and vouchers can also be used for more savings. Get your shopping done first so that you can accumulate more points/vouchers that can be used for your fuel costs.

5. Safety first

Some hypermiling methods, including coasting and idling, can be dangerous, so it’s best to avoid them if you can.

It’s vital that motorists ensure that they’re properly trained and capable of driving safely before they attempt to use hypermiling techniques. There are several training courses available to well-equipped drivers when adopting these methods.

Takeaway

Small changes can have a significant impact when it comes to improving fuel efficiency and cutting costs where possible.

Drivers can maximise these hypermiling techniques even before embarking on a journey, ensuring that they are servicing vehicles regularly and removing excess weight where possible.

Also, try to prevent your tank from regularly becoming too low or running dry. This will likely cause bigger, more expensive problems with your engine in the long run.