Let’s face it, going to the petrol station is never at the top of anyone’s ‘favourite things to do list’, but as the majority of us drive petrol and diesel cars, regular visits to the fuel station are inevitable.
But is there anything we can do to save a little and make our fuel last longer, keeping more change in our pockets?
So how do we save money on fuel? Here are our top options for low cost motoring.
One of the best and easiest ways to save money on fuel, is to be aware of your driving style and adapt how you drive day to day to make your journeys more economical. Driving sensibly and reading the road ahead will save you a considerable amount of money on fuel, as you’re planning and pre-empting your next steps. As a general rule, the less breaking and accelerating you do, the less fuel you use - so a smooth and gentle driving style is key.
According to the AA, simply dropping your speed from 80mph to 70mph, could save up to 25% in fuel.
This means that ensuring you follow the speed limit is not only a legal requirement, but a great way to save money to. We all love our in car gadgets, but try to use them only when you need them, as air con has a significant impact on fuel consumption, as does using the electric windows and even the radio. If your car has an ‘Eco mode’, make sure you turn this on during longer journeys, as this will increase your mpg and give you a longer range before you need to fill up.
Even small things such as keeping the windows closed and removing roof racks when they are not in use make a big different to aerodynamics – a key player in fuel efficiency. Although some of these tips may seem small, used all together they will increase your fuel economy and mean you’ll be filling up less often – so that’s a plus for everyone.
One of the easiest ways to save money on fuel is to find the petrol station with the cheapest fuel prices, which is often your local supermarket. It’s good to shop around for the best price, but sometimes driving the extra miles to save a few pence per litre can defeat the object, and you could end up saving nothing or even spending more. Prices at petrol stations can differ drastically, I’m sure you’ve noticed that prices at motorway services are much higher than at a normal station, this is because people often have no choice but to use them, and this is reflected in the price you pay, so try to fill up before your journey if you can. For this research we like using PetrolPrices.com.
It’s best to do some research beforehand if you are taking a long journey or visiting an area you don’t know, as planning your fuel stops in advance will save you time and money, and will avoid any ‘I told you so’ arguments when searching for the nearest station.
If you want to save money of fuel, leasing a new car can be a great way to save money all round but importantly, could save you a massive amount on fuel and is often cheaper to run than a second hand car. Modern cars have drastically more efficient engines, better fuel economy and are under warranty, so any issues can be sorted straight away. You can choose between petrol, diesel, hybrid or fully electric cars giving you a huge range of options to suit your budget and requirements, so you can truly have a car that works for you. Once you have your new car, maintaining it is an important element of saving money on fuel, ensuring your car is working correctly, has the correct oil and the right tyres is essential for keeping your car running as its most economic - so make sure you book your car in for a service regularly, and get any problems looked at as soon as possible.
The type of car you drive will also have a huge effect on how much money you spend on fuel, as generally the larger and more powerful the engine, the less economical it will be. However, in recent years this has become less of an issue as weight-saving technology has made larger cars and vans more economical.
So, when looking for your next car, a really important question you need to ask yourself is, how important is fuel economy to me? Though a high performance car has lots of great benefits, you will have to compromise on mpg. However premium manufacturers are now introducing lots more plug-in hybrid and electric versions of their cars, so this could provide a happy medium for those with their heart set on a car with great performance. However, this comes with the provision; if you know you won’t actually plug-in your plugin hybrid, consider another vehicle. PHEV’s weigh more than normal petrol and diesel cars and because of this, it uses more petrol if the batteries are not fully charged.
One of the most obvious ways to save money on fuel, is to buy a car that doesn’t use any! Most manufacturers now have an electric vehicle as part of their model range, so if saving money on fuel is a main priority for you, an electric car is definitely something to consider.
Electric cars are also much friendlier to the environment, and although electric cars have some way to go to integrate themselves into the mainstream market, we are certainly going to see more and more of them over the next few years, with more charging points being introduced up and down the country. There are costs to consider when buying an electric vehicle of course, as they are generally more expensive to purchase in the first place and they use electricity when they are charging, however this is considerably less than a full tank of fuel. For example, with electricity costing around 14p per kilowatt hour, it will cost less than £7.50 to fully charge the Renault Zoe’s 52Kw battery, giving you a range of 245 miles – so you can see how the running costs day to day are much lower.
Take a look at our Electric Car Leasing Deals and see for yourself how much you could save on a new car!
Generally, fuel is something most of us have to buy - we need to get to work and take the kids to school along with a whole host of other things our cars give us the freedom to do every day, so anything we can do to save money here and there is beneficial to our overall lifestyle and increases our disposable income, so we can spend it on things that, in all honesty, are much more exciting than petrol and diesel.