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Fuel Saving Tips for Eco-Friendly Drivers

June 9, 2016

Do you feel like you’re constantly spending your time filling up at the fuel station? It can seem that way for a lot of drivers but, in actual fact, you may be refuelling more often than you need to. Going green doesn’t just have to benefit Mother Earth – fuel-efficient driving can also end up saving you a wad of cash. Driving is expensive but, by following our favourite tricks on how to save fuel, you’ll be on the road to success.

Eco issues are becoming increasingly important to drivers, as long-term environmental effects are made clearer to us. But if you’re not versed in more eco-friendly driving techniques, it can be difficult to know where to start in terms of going green. Those of you looking to help your carbon footprint or just show a little love for Mother Nature, look no further. Here are some hard and fast rules for righteous driving.

Fuel saving tips

Buying the car

  • ‘Nearly’ is new enough: newer vehicles are much less pollutive than older models, so new is great – but save money wherever you can and opt for a ‘nearly new’ car instead. This way, you can have the car you want without sacrificing environmental ethics
  • Size matters: if you won’t generally be driving for long distances, small is the way to go. Smaller cars are more fuel-efficient and generally less expensive to buy, so it’s a win-win
  • Sharing is caring: this is straightforward enough. Sharing a car with friends means that you’re all splitting the fuel money and using a fraction of the fuel – the road trip atmosphere alone should be persuasive enough
  • Make it a manual: the gap is starting to close up with the release of modern models, but car specialists have reported that automatics can use up to 15% more fuel than a manual. Over a car’s lifetime, that can make a big difference – so if you’re buying secondhand and wondering how to improve mpg, opting for a manual is going to be a more economical choice

More and more of us are becoming ‘green’. Protecting the environment is something many of us now feel passionate about, but for drivers, this can sometimes be a difficult issue! As we know, driving a car damages the environment, so how can you help reduce your carbon footprint as a driver?
That’s where BlaBlaCar comes in! BlaBlaCar connects drivers who have empty seats to passengers travelling the same way. Passengers enjoy low-cost comfortable travel and pay a fixed fuel contribution to drivers.

The main issue with road travel today is that too many cars are carrying no passengers. In fact, today in the UK the average car occupancy is 1.6 people to a car. In comparison, BlaBlaCar’s car occupancy is 2.8 people to a car. Thanks to ridesharing, BlaBlaCar is filling these empty seats on the roads and has consequently prevented an estimated 750, 000 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. Since our creation in 2009, our community has continued to grow and BlaBlaCar has seen rapid expansion. An impressive 3.2 Billion km have been shared through BlaBlaCar, which is the equivalent of 80, 535 trips around the world! The more we fill those empty seats, the more we can protect the environment.

Do you want to be a ‘green’ driver? Sign up on blablacar.com and offer your empty seats on your next long-distance drive. This way you can help the environment and save money: by taking fuel contributions from BlaBlaCar passengers, you can offset all fuel costs for that trip! What could be better?

BlaBlaCar, www.blablacar.com.

Prepping the car

  • Only the bare essentials: get rid of any extra weight your car might be carrying. Any unnecessary extras in the boot and roof racks you’re not using need to go – if you don’t need it, take it out
  • Refuel, don’t overfuel: when you’re filling the tank, make sure not to overfill, as any fuel spilt will release some harmful emissions. Best avoided
  • Keep it regular: make sure your car is regularly serviced to maximise energy efficiency. Keep an eye on the pressure in your tyres, too – fuel consumption increases 1% for every 6psi your tyres are under-inflated

Fuel saving tips for economic drivers

Planning the journey

  • Get to grips with your route: we’ve all been there, and by there we mean the middle of nowhere with no clue of your whereabouts. Getting lost is not only daunting for a driver, but can also end up costing money in fuel. Plan ahead to save on driving around for what seems like forever
  • Save yourself a trip: as well as it being a little inconvenient to keep leaving the house, running separate errands in your runabout is going to dramatically increase your fuel consumption. If you’re wondering how to save petrol, cutting down on the number of trips you make may be the answer. Constantly starting up your engine in cold weather and in low gears is a killer for your fuel tank, so planning ahead will save you some hard-earned cash
  • Leave the car in the garage: if you’re looking at how to improve fuel economy and get back in touch with nature at the same time, you’ve come to the right place! Substituting your wheels for a walk will automatically save you money on fuel, and you’ll get to see a lot more of your surroundings than you would driving
  • Time when you travel: as if rush hour wasn’t laborious enough, it turns out that getting stuck in a traffic jam is also going to cost you your cash. Travelling in first and second gear consumes a huge amount of petrol, so the best solution is to avoid travelling at busy times altogether. If avoiding a journey just isn’t an option, there are still a ton of actionable fuel-saving tips for drivers. Anticipating other drivers’ next moves and slowing down to a steady speed will mean you avoid the fuel-guzzling first gear. For regular urban drivers, opting for a hybrid car may be a great way to get around with lower running costs

Driving the car

  • Take it easy: relax, keep your speed between 50 and 60mph and avoid any harsh accelerations. Driving too quickly or slowly dramatically lowers your fuel efficiency, and trying to beat all the lights rarely works – so keep it at a more sedate speed and you’ll usually find that you catch the greens without compromising your green ethics
  • Drop the speed, and the revs: it’s an age old question – does driving faster or slower save more fuel? Like most things, finding the right balance is the answer. Dropping down your speed will be great for your tank, but moving up a gear is also going to work wonders. In a petrol car, most motorists change up at around 3,000 RPM – but it’s actually more efficient to do this at the 2,500 mark. The same goes for a diesel model – take things up a gear at 2,000 rather than the traditional 2,500
  • Cut the air con: save the air conditioning for high speed driving, since you use a ton more fuel with the air con on at lower speeds. If the limit’s low and you need some relief on a hot day, just open those windows
  • Save where you can: electrical loads have a huge impact on fuel efficiency, so get your headlights and heated rear windscreen off till you really need them. And try to turn the engine off whenever you think you’ll be stationary for a while – simples!

And there you have it – consider yourself fuel-efficient.

fuel saving tips eco friendly drivers
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About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.