In May 2021, the RAC Foundation predicted that June would see fuel prices rise for the seventh consecutive month. With this in mind, saving money at the forecourt remains a top priority for British motorists. Tracking down the cheapest fuel prices in your local area is one way to save on petrol. But did you know there are also some easy tips and tricks you can utilise to minimise your fuel consumption? Here’s how.

1. Stop idling

Do you tend to keep the motor running while you’re waiting for the kids to come out of the school gate? Maybe you don’t bother to switch off the engine while your partner pops into the shop for milk?

Whilst this can seem harmless, idling can waste up to two litres of fuel per hour. What’s more, idling can release more than 5kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. Saying no to idling can also save lives, with the Royal College of Physicians warning air pollution claims around 40,000 British lives every year, with idling a key contributor.

“Whether it is outside schools, picking up relatives from stations, or in a car park, we can all do our bit by switching off our engines and reducing our emissions,” says RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes.

2. Inflate your tyres

The firmness of your tyres can have an enormous impact on your fuel consumption. For example, Michelin warn that British motorists waste a huge £246 million a year driving on underinflated tyres. Not only does this result in your engine guzzling fuel, but it also increases your emissions.

Be sure to check your tyre pressure regularly and head straight to the forecourt if something looks off. Wheel alignment can also play a role in increasing fuel consumption. This can have the effect of compromising the smoothness of the ride, and forcing the engine to work overtime.

3. Don’t overaccelerate

While it’s tempting to speed up when taking off from a traffic light or give the speedometer a workout on the motorway, overaccelerating is one of the fastest ways to burn fuel. Smoother accelerations will keep your petrol consumption down. What’s more, your passengers will have a far more comfortable ride.

4. Carrying unnecessary weight

Do you wait a week before unpacking your car from a camping trip? Maybe you have a bad habit of carting around your golf clubs. Perhaps you continually forget to drop off that bag of books at the charity shop. Whatever your vice, extra weight translates to increased fuel consumption. Your engine has to work harder to move extra weight. As such, if your car is packed with unnecessary items it could be time for a cleanout.

5. Roof racks in the city

While roof racks can be incredibly useful on road trips, they do compromise the aerodynamism of your car. The extra bulk increases drag and forces the engine to work harder and burn more fuel. Furthermore, even empty roof racks can result in a 15% increase in fuel consumption. If your roof racks are easy enough to remove while not in use it could be worth putting them in storage.

Roof boxes are also something to watch, with data suggesting even when empty they can increase fuel consumption by up to 25%. Again, they’re great when you’re travelling long distances and need extra storage space. Conversely, for everyday journeys, they’re obsolete and should be removed if possible.

6. Upgrade to an eco-friendly vehicle

Cutting down on idling, checking your tyre pressure, avoiding over acceleration, clearing out your car and taking off your roof racks can all help to save petrol. But nothing compares to the benefits of a fuel-efficient car. For example, the Peugeot 208 is one of the most efficient internal combustion powered vehicles available in the UK, offering impressive fuel economy of 73.6mpg.

Of course, EVs are the ultimate petrol saving solution. With an electric engine you’ll eliminate the need to fill up at the forecourt entirely. Instead, models like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 plug into power outlets and take you from A to B with zero fossil fuels.

Make the switch a little easier

Thinking of upgrading to a more fuel-efficient car? At My Car Credit we’re experts in all things finance. Whether you’re looking to purchase a brand-new luxury SUV or a second-hand hybrid hatchback, we offer tailored car finance solutions, from those with a flawless credit history to car finance with poor credit.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
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Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

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  • You may have had frequent changes in address
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  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
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Bad

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  • Your credit cards are over their limits
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£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

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