We live in complex times. Fuel prices have been rising for a while, making driving a car an expensive endeavour. So there’s no better time to make your fuel consumption more efficient, whether over short distances or longer trips by car, with or without kids. We’ll give you some tips in this blog to save fuel and make the most of every drop.
Here’s how to drive a car more economically
One of the easiest ways you can save fuel is by adjusting your driving style. A few tips at a glance:
Adapt your speed. The faster you drive, the more fuel your car consumes. For example, a car will consume 25% more on average when driving 130 km/h compared to 100 km/h. You have to drive fast enough, of course, but not speeding can save you a nice amount of money.
Shift your gears in time. The lower the revs of your car, the lower the consumption. You can reduce your car’s consumption by changing gears early, say around 2000 rpm. If you have an automatic, use eco, winter, or normal mode.
Turn off your engine. This sounds trite, but if you have to wait somewhere for a few minutes, turn off your engine. This way, you don’t consume fuel during those idle periods, something more modern cars already do automatically.
Drive at a constant speed. Try to maintain the same speed as much as possible, i.e. not constantly accelerating and braking. Cruise control, if your car has it, can help you with this.
More maintenance, less consumption
Not only the way you drive the car has an impact on fuel consumption, but the way you maintain it also has an impact.
Check your tyre pressure. Underinflated or overinflated tyres may negatively affect your car’s fuel consumption. For example, a pressure of 0.5 bar is too low and results in 2 to 3% additional fuel consumption. So check the tyre pressure, especially before going for a longer drive.
Have your car serviced regularly. Smaller issues such as clogged air filters, dirty cooling systems, or worn spark plugs can increase your car’s consumption by up to 5%. So scheduling regular maintenance can be useful.
Choose the right petrol station. You can sometimes get much lower prices at specific petrol stations. Smaller brands are thus more likely to give big discounts and unstaffed stations usually have lower prices.
Heat economically. Elements in your car such as the air conditioning, seat heaters, or even the mirror heater also consume fuel. So look carefully at which gadgets you’ll be turning on in your car and for how long.
Choose the right car
If you are about to buy a new car, now might be the time to pay attention to the fuel efficiency of the model.
Beware of the test scores. Up until 2017, cars were typically tested using the so-called NEDC method. In the process, car manufacturers used all kinds of tricks to reduce consumption during testing, such as removing the rear seats or taping up the seams to make the model more aerodynamic. If your car is tested according to those criteria, then you can assume that the actual consumption is higher. After 2017, however, the WLTP test began to become dominant, and was considered to be more precise.
To diesel, or not to diesel. Diesel cars tend to be more economical than petrol cars when you drive longer distances at a constant speed. But on the other hand, the petrol car does better for shorter distances.
Go electric or hybrid. Electric or hybrid cars consume no or less fuel, and offer the possibility to drastically reduce your consumption. At the same time, you should examine whether your current needs are met by these models, for example in terms of maximum distance.