Tips on how to save fuel and drive economically during the petrol crisis

As petrol stations around the country continue to be swamped by panic-buying drivers following blundering Tory Francis Maude’s advice to stock up on fuel, Mirror Online presents the best ways how to keep calm and carry on driving.

Mirror motoring expert Richard Hammond ’s practical tips may not help top up the filling stations, but they should aid drawing out those few extra miles from your tank.

Central to the Top Gear presenter’s approach is clear-headed planning: monitoring your fuel consumption and closing off any chance of waste should help drivers across the country getting in a real jam.

Richard Hammond’s tips for saving fuel
1) Plan your route. Take the most direct way and avoid peak hours.
2) Check your tyres. Under-inflation can increase consumption by 15%.
3) Keep a steady cruising speed.
4) Switch off your engine in a jam.
5) If you see traffic stopping, plan ahead by gently lifting off the gas rather than suddenly braking.
6) Turn off the air conditioning.
7) Shed unnecessary weight.
8) Reverse in when you park. Engines use the most fuel when they’re cold – this way you can drive straight out and avoid lengthy manoeuvres.

Sunday Mirror columnist Quentin Willson has campaigned consistently for cheaper fuel – and his easy ways to save a fortune on fuel are more relevant than ever at a time when every drop counts.

His readers agree – Alan Pearce of Road Runner couriers in Tamworth discovered he could save £25 a week on fuel and get an extra 5mpg by switching off in jams, feathering the pedals and only using the brakes when absolutely necessary.

But Quentin has even more recommendations, ranging from being on time to selecting the right footwear to drive in. His message remains that driving like Aunt Betty really does pay – even if she can’t get onto the forecourt.

Quentin Willson’s tips for saving on petrol
1) Don’t wear daft shoes. You won’t feel the pedals in your work boots, wellingtons or triple-welted brogues.
2) Don’t be late. Rushing with your hair on fire means you’ll use much more fuel.
3) Don’t be angry. Being stressed or rowing with your wife, husband or the kids will mash your mpg.
4) Don’t open your sunroof or windows at speed. Air turbulence wastes fuel.
5) Don’t ignore the fuel computer. Knowing your exact mpg will help you use less.
6) Don’t drive around with a full tank and unnecessary weight in the boot.
7) Don’t get lost. Take a map and satnav, or check your journey on the RAC or AA route planners.
8) Don’t drive in rush-hour or just use the A roads.
9) Avoid heavy traffic, switch the engine off in jams and remember free-flowing motorways are the most economic routes to use.
10) Don’t speed. The difference in fuel consumption between 60mph and 80mph can be as much as 20 per cent.
11) Don’t push all your buttons – air con, heated seats and fan blowers make the engine work harder.
12) Don’t race up to junctions, lights and roundabouts. If you know you are about to stop, anticipate and lift your foot off the throttle early.
13) Don’t run around on under- inflated tyres. Low tyre pressures use more fuel. Better still, fit eco tyres – they can save you up to a litre per tank.
14) Don’t be a random braker. Braking destroys the energy you’ve just created. Use the car’s momentum to slow you down.
15) Don’t stay in low gear. Get into the highest gear possible as soon as you can.
16) Don’t neglect your car. Fresh oil will reduce friction and a new air cleaner element will also help your car engine to breathe better.
17) Don’t punch the pedals. Use throttle and brake sparingly and drive with a lightness of touch.
18) Don’t drive nose first into a parking space. Reversing out when the engine’s cold means you’ll have to do a lengthy three-point turn on choke.
19) Don’t be idle. Sitting at the school gates with your engine on for 15 minutes is nuts.
20) Don’t switch on early. Put your seat belt on, programme your satnav and put your CD in, then start up.

source: mirror.co.uk

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