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Eco Driving Tips

  • Use the accelerator smoothly and progressively. Always avoid harsh acceleration. When you can, stop pressing down on the accelerator and let the momentum of the car take you forward. Travelling down a hill with your foot off the accelerator can save a considerable amount of fuel.  
  • Roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes will affect your car's aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency. If you have to use them make sure you remove them when not in use. Driving with the windows or sunroof open will also decrease your car's aerodynamics.
  • Change into the highest appropriate gear as soon as you can. Revving the engine in low gear consumes large amounts of fuel. For maximum efficiency you should shift up a gear when the engine is revving between 2000 and 2500 revs.
  • Maintain a steady speed using the highest gear possible. The most efficient speed is typically around 45 - 50mph. Driving faster than this will greatly increase your fuel consumption. The Department of Transport claim driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph.
  • If you anticipate being stuck in a queue of traffic for more than a minute or so then cutting the engine will save petrol and reduce emissions.
  • Avoid short journeys; car engines use more fuel when cold and catalytic converters take around six miles before they become effective.
  • Check your tyre pressure regularly. Under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.
  • Use cruise control (when appropriate), as this keeps a steady setting on the accelerator so doesn't vary the intake of fuel.
  • Turning on the air conditioning for long periods of time will significantly increase fuel consumption, especially when driving in urban environments when the driving may be more start/stop. When travelling at consistent, higher speeds the fuel wastage will be less noticeable.
  • Plan your journeys so that you avoid congestion, road works and getting lost.
  • Have your car serviced according to the manufacturers schedule. This will help maintain engine efficiency and cut fuel consumption.
  • When approaching speed bumps drive smoothly and at a constant speed of between 15-20 mph. Braking sharply, accelerating, then braking sharply for the next speed bump will consume a lot more fuel than taking things steady.
  • When approaching a roundabout or junction lift off the accelerator and cruise to a stop in gear. This way you will use no fuel. If you put the car into neutral and cruise to a stop the car will continue to consume fuel.
  • When parking in a parking bay, try to reverse into the bay, so you can then drive out of it forwards. Reverse manoeuvring whilst the engine is cold uses a lot of fuel.
  • Keep your front and rear windows squeaky clean, as this will make them less likely to mist up meaning you won't have to turn on the car's fuel hungry heater or air-con.
  • Buy a new car. Today's cars are around 23% more efficient than they were just 10 years ago.