We’ve all seen the queues, the fights, the chaos – and now the Army is being called in to deal with the situation.
The ongoing crisis with the petrol shortage in the UK has been wreaking havoc on the streets.
People are being forced to queue for hours to fill up their tanks, or abandon their cars as petrol stations are running dry.
With no quick solution on the horizon, people who rely on their cars are having to be really savvy about making their petrol last as long as possible.
But how do you make your fuel go further? Does it depend on how fast you drive? Or how smooth your driving is?
We asked consumer expert and co-founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, Tom Church, to share his top tips to make your tank last longer – and save you money on fuel.
Check your tyre pressure
‘This short and simple task may be easy to ignore, but getting it done regularly will pay off in the long term,’ says Tom.
According to the RAC, tyres which are under-inflated by just 15psi can use 6% more fuel, and this level of underinflation isn’t noticeable from just a quick glance.
‘To put this figure into context,’ Tom adds, ‘those who keep their tyres inflated just this much more will be able to get an additional 26 miles from a 60 litre tank of fuel.
‘Based on average prices for a litre of diesel, this can save up to £65 on your annual fuel bill.’
Don’t use the air conditioning or heating
Yes, it’s getting chillier, but if you want to make your petrol last, resist reaching for that heater.
‘If you’re going to freeze or overheat, then using these features is obviously essential, but there are plenty of situations where they can be avoided,’ says Tom.
‘By wearing an additional layer of clothing in cold weather and rolling down the windows in the summer months, you can avoid putting additional strain on the engine – which will burn more fuel, especially if you’re driving at lower speeds.’
Get a fuel efficient vehicle
Figures from the Department for Transport reveal that the fuel consumption of cars which are similar in size can vary by 45%.
‘By carefully choosing a vehicle which is more fuel efficient, your annual bill will go down dramatically,’ says Tom.
‘If you’re in the market for a new car and want to pick one which will save you money on fuel, try using online comparison calculators from Next Green Car or Green Car Guide.’
Learn to drive economically
‘Driving tests these days will include feedback on a driver’s ability to drive economically, but this may not be a skill for those who haven’t taken a test or driving course recently,’ Tom says.
‘By taking an advanced driving course, you can learn how to adjust your driving style to make it more economical.
‘Methods can include driving smoothly, accelerating gently, being increasingly aware of hazards to avoid unnecessary brakes and keeping rolling where possible so you don’t stop then start again as often.’
Look into fuel efficient tyres
Tom says that 20% of a car’s fuel consumption comes from the tyre.
‘Those who want to reduce their fuel consumption can do so by choosing tyres which have a lower rolling resistance,’ he explains.
‘These energy efficient tyres will typically result in the driver getting a higher mileage out of their vehicle – with National predicting that energy saving tyres can save up to 440 litres of fuel over the tyre’s lifetime.’
Find out if you really need premium fuel
‘Most of us will have noticed the extra fuel pumps at petrol stations which indicate that Premium, Ultra, Super or similar fuel is available,’ says Tom.
‘While the price may be off-putting for some, as it typically costs more than regular unleaded and diesel, others may consider that the higher price might be worth it if it’s more economical.’
However, Tom says your vehicle may not get any benefit out of premium fuel.
‘This style of fuel is recommended for performance cars, so do your research and find out whether or not you’d be wasting your money,’ he suggests.
Shop around for fuel cashback deals
‘If you’re in the market for a new credit card, or you’re looking at making your store loyalty cards work for you, why not find a provider which offers fuel cashback benefits?’ says Tom.
‘For example, the Santander 123 credit card offers 3% cash back at all major petrol stations, while the Tesco Clubcard offers five points for every £4 spent on Tesco fuel.’
Take care when the car is cold
This is a particularly pertinent piece of advice as we head into the autumn and winter months.
‘Make sure you drive slowly when the car is just starting to warm up, as cold engines are less efficient,’ says Tom.
‘If you floor it from the get-go, you’ll be wasting fuel and putting pressure on the engine which will wear it out much more easily. A similar effect will come from leaving the energy to idle.
‘Older drivers may be used to letting their cars “warm up”, but this is no longer essential as modern cars have been created so they will run from the moment they’re started.’
Credit: Original article published here.