10 ways to use less fuel on your daily commute

At present in the UK, 16.7 million people rely on a car to get to work, whether they are the driver or the passenger. That’s 36% of people who are driving to work.

In November 2017, petrol costs were up by 1.8p per litre month-on-month to 119.1p, while diesel rose by 2.3p to 122.8p. Experts predict the first half of 2018 will see fuel price rises.

In this article, we’ll look into the ways that may help reduce fuel consumption on your daily commute, and how it can save money. We’ll also look at how it could reduce the need to service your car, and improve the general wear and tear.

1. Lose the excess weight

If your boot still has your golf clubs or the pram in from the weekend, you’re going to use more fuel.

Basically anything that is not essential, should be removed, it’ll waste your fuel, especially when accelerating. (Please remember that during the winter, extra supplies and safety equipment are not extra weight, they are essentials!) According to shrinkthatfootprint losing 45 kg from your car will improve your fuel economy by around 2%.

Making cars lighter plays a leading role in improving fuel economy in new cars. FutureSteelVehicleProject suggests that cars could get 35% lighter with simply better steel techniques.

If you can make it to your destination with only half a tank of fuel, it is wise to do so, just another way to keep your car lighter.

Also check out this article that explains why cars will keep getting lighter.

2. Take notice of petrol stations on your commute

It’s more than likely you pass some petrol stations on your way to work. It’s also likely you’re so focussed on getting to work on time, that you don’t take much notice of the prices advertised.

It’s time to start comparing these prices. Usually on a mid to long journey, you will see a price difference between the different stations.

Once you have worked out where’s cheapest, it would be advisable to frequent those petrol stations and you will see a saving.

If you don’t have time to look at the prices on your way to work, or would prefer to know before you set off, use confused.com’s petrol price finder, to find the cheapest fuel in a given postcode.

3. Reduce your air-con/heater usage

Using the air conditioning in your car uses up to 25% more fuel! It might be better to open the air vents instead or if you’re at an appropriate speed, opening the windows may be a better alternative. When using your heater, try to get your car to an optimum temperature and then turn it off.

4. Carpool

Do you ever get into a conversation with your colleagues, where you’re all complaining about your commute or travel costs?

One of the best things you can do to save on on fuel, is to share the journeys.

Even if you only carpool one or two days a week, it will still make a difference to your fuel consumption.

This won’t only save on fuel, but creates an opportunity to create friendships and will reduce air pollution and traffic congestion- which benefits everybody.

Read some tips here to ensure a successful carpool.

5. Keep your tyres pumped up

Well maintained tyres are essential for economic driving. Just having correctly inflated tyres can improve your fuel consumption.

You should check your tyre pressure regularly (at least once a month).

Most petrol stations have the facilities to add air to your tyres for free, so make a point of doing so regularly.

6. Check traffic ahead of time

Sitting in traffic is not just bad for fuel efficiency, its can be bad for you too.

Try to reduce the hassle and anxiety involved, by planning your commute around traffic congestion.

As well as listening to the radio for updates whilst you’re in the car, you can also plan ahead of time.

Check traffic jams before you leave for work or use the Live Traffic through TomTom Traffic.

7. Maximise your time

If you are clever about using your commuting time, you can really save on fuel.

Simple errands that can be carried out on your commute will help save you time, and stop you having to fill up your fuel tank as much.

You could do your food shopping (probably best to do this one on your homebound commute).  Just take note of the supermarkets you pass on the way and pick your favourite one.

Small tasks like picking up prescriptions, going to the post office or going to the gym, can all be factored into your commutes.

8. Adjust your driving technique

Simply streamlining your driving technique can save you up to 30% on fuel costs.

Drive smoothly and consistently using higher gears, and avoid sharp braking and accelerating.

Every time you accelerate your car, your engine burns more fuel and the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you burn. So then in turn, every time you touch your brake, you’re either compensating for too much acceleration or you’re ensuring you’re going to have to accelerate more. Instead, accelerate slowly out of stops and brake as little as possible.

9. Change your work schedule

If you have a good relationship with your boss, you could maybe talk to them about changing your working hours?

You could start and finish earlier, therefore avoiding rush hour.

This can also reduce the hassle of often being stuck in traffic, and thinking you’re going to be late for work.

You could also suggest working from home once a week or month- it may seem like a small saving but all these changes could definitely add up.

10. Park Smart

If time allows, park further away from your workplace, and walk the rest of the way.

If you are worried about finding a parking space, apps are available that will locate a space before you get there.

This not only saves fuel but could also benefit your health and can work especially well for helping wake you up in the morning!

The most popular reason that people want to use less fuel, is to save money. By following at least a couple of tips from this article, you could see a difference in your bank balance.

But if utilised, it can also have a positive impact on the environment. Because it leads to reducing carbon emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion. This in the end will be beneficial to us all.

The daily commute can also be a major factor in causing negativity in your life, and many of the points above can help to also combat this.

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