1. Make sure the vehicle is in tip-top running order
Regular maintenance and servicing improves the efficiency of your vehicle, and therefore can improve your fuel consumption.
2. Check tyre pressures
Ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated is key to making your car run efficiently. Check the owner’s manual or a sticker on the door sill to find out what the optimum pressures are for your vehicle.
3. Use ‘eco’ mode if your car has it
Many modern motors are fitted with adjustable driving modes. If yours does it is likely to have an ‘eco’ setting, which restricts how quickly the car accelerates but will help reduce fuel consumption.
4. Be gentle on the throttle
If you have a car without adjustable driving models, try to be as easy on the throttle pedal as possible when you can.
Excessive speed is the biggest fuel-guzzling factor so having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important to fuel-efficient driving.
When you set off from a standstill, such as at traffic lights and junctions, try not to react like you’re on the starting grid at Silverstone.
5. Use the highest gear possible
The RAC says that the biggest secret to achieving high mpg (miles per gallon) is driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit.
‘The best advice in urban areas is to change up through the gears as quickly as you can with the lowest revs possible, probably at around 2000rpm,’ it says.
6. Anticipate well ahead
Heavy acceleration will sap fuel economy, but braking too heavily also has the same impact, as you can use less fuel by coming to a standstill more gradually.
This requires a driver to anticipate traffic flow ahead, but is a great way of limiting fuel use.
7. Cruise control isn’t the answer
While many will believe that using cruise control functionality will provide the lowest fuel use, this isn’t always the case.
Cruise control is most likely to benefit mpg on motorways with a constant speed and a flat surface.
However, if you were to use your cruise control regularly and not on flat roads, you would see fuel consumption increase.
‘This is because your cruise control would be slower to react to gradient changes, meaning when reaching the brow of a hill – at which point you would normally take your foot off the accelerator to maintain more of a constant speed when descending – your cruise control will keep the power on for a little longer as it’s unable to see the gradient change in front of you. Driving in this way regularly would lead to worse fuel consumption,’ says the RAC.
8. Avoid using the air-con and heater
Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to as it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption.
This shouldn’t be an issue in these cooler months, though using a car’s heater will have a similar impact, with it running off the engine power and therefore lowering fuel economy.
Dress accordingly for the weather, is the best advice.
9. A warm engine is more efficient, so combine journeys
Once an engine is warm it will operate most efficiently, whereas several cold starts will increase fuel consumption.
So if you have a number of errands or trips in a day, try to do all of them in one go.
10. Lighten the load
While this isn’t going to make the biggest difference to your mpg figures, emptying heavy clutter from your car will fractionally improve its fuel economy.
And if you’re not using roof bars and a roof box, take them off as it could make your motor less drag efficient.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, an empty roof rack adds 16 per cent drag when driving at 75mph. At the same speed a roof box adds 39 per cent, making your vehicle much less fuel efficient.
Driving with an open window also has a similar effect.