Petrol prices are not likely to come down much in the near future. If you are really interested in saving money, these tips will show you how to save at the pump.

The added benefit here is that it makes your driving greener which is good for everybody.

gas-pump

Be a Slowpoke

If you strictly adhere to a self-imposed 50 mph speed limit (when the limit is actually higher) you will save big time on fuel. But you will also make some big time enemies on the motorway. There is a reasonable alternative though. Always, and we mean always, stick to the speed limit. When your engine runs at lower speeds, it burns less fuel.

Also, when pulling out from a parked position, start gradually instead of peeling out like a drag racer. You can also stop and take turns gradually. This helps save on fuel since you rely more on your car’s momentum instead of the accelerator.

Good Maintenance – Keep Your Filters Clean, Oil Changed and Gas Cap Tight

Dirty air or fuel filters can cost you up to 10% more at the petrol station. So follow your car’s owner’s manual religiously when it comes to changing the filters. Many car manufacturers, like Vauxhall, keep copies of owner’s manuals online – access them on their website.

The same goes for oil changes. Clean oil makes the engine work smoother which means less fuel usage. Oil changes are normally recommended every 3,000 miles or so, but check your manual.

Evaporation from a loose petrol cap can also waste fuel. So keep the cap tightly closed. Plus look for cracks in the cap that can lead to fuel loss, and replace the cap right away if damaged.

Lose Weight

Now we don’t mean that you have to go to the gym, but we do mean that your car can lose a few pounds. Many people carry heavy objects around in their boots all day for no reason. This makes your car work harder and burn more fuel. Smaller cars are especially vulnerable to the effect of extra weight. So unpack the golf clubs, sports equipment and office files. Give your vehicle a break for heaven’s sake!

Don’t’ Be a Drag: Watch Tyre Pressure and Wind Resistance

Your tires are the only contact your car has with the road, and tires can be a source of friction or drag. Proper tire pressure allows your car to roll smoothly down the road, and this makes for better fuel efficiency. A quick Google search will tell you what the optimum pressure is for your tires.

Wind resistance also makes your car work harder and burn more fuel, so take down the roof rack and bike rack when not in use. Also keep the windows rolled up for better aerodynamics.

Turn off the Engine

The best way to not burn fuel is to not run the engine. So, whenever possible, walk or ride a bike to your destination. You can also take public transport or organise a car pool with friends and neighbours. This will save you more on gas than anything. And if you’re limiting your annual mileage, you’re also more likely to get a good deal on car insurance (this is one of the many questions you’ll see on a price comparison website).

Plus, whenever you bump into someone while driving (not literally!) turn off the engine if you are going to chat. Idling for long periods is like burning bank notes. Some even turn off the engine when they are waiting at traffic lights or railroad crossing. BMW swears by its ‘Auto Start Stop function’ – read more here.

It’s all a matter of good driving hygiene, not just about penny pinching. If you look closely, these are all prudent measures that not only increase mileage but increase safety as well. So practice these habits, save money, save the planet and stay safe.