A Populus poll of 22,000 AA members shows that over a quarter say that their New Year’s driving resolution would be to drive more economically.
Rising fuel costs
The AA, who are the UK’s largest breakdown cover provider with over 2,700 patrols, say that families are increasingly concerned about the cost of fuel.
The poll also shows that 22% of people, who would make a driving related resolution, would aim to try and walk more. Again, this could point to people being concerned about the cost of motoring. Further, 14% would make a resolution to drive less.
How to save fuel
The AA has offered motorists some useful tips on how to save fuel and ultimately save money.
Getting your vehicle serviced on a regular basis and keeping up the maintenance of your car will ensure it runs as efficiently as possible.
Other maintenance tips include ensuring you use the correct specification of engine oil according to the manufacturer recommendations.
Finally, keep a regular check on the pressure of your tyres as under inflated tyres will cause your vehicle to require more fuel and more money at the pump.
Preparing your journey
Keep your car as light as possible. The heavier your vehicle, the more fuel it needs. Also try and avoid roof racks as they cause drag on your vehicle and affect your fuel consumption.
The AA also advise that you should try and avoid idling your car, so don’t start your engine until you are ready to move. Also, de-ice your car instead of leaving your car to idle and warm up as this uses up valuable fuel.
Driving you vehicle
The AA says you should drive ‘smooth and gentle’. This means you should accelerate gently, avoid unnecessary braking and slow down by leaving the car in gear and taking your foot off the accelerator in time.
When approaching traffic lights or a queue of traffic, try and slow down in order to avoid too much stopping and starting of the vehicle.
Other driving tips include using your air conditioning sparingly by only using it for high-speed journeys and simply opening a window for inner city trips. Air-con increase fuel consumption but the AA does say you should try and use it at least once every week in order to keep it running properly.
Does coasting save fuel?
If you think that coasting is a good way of saving fuel then think again. According to the AA, rolling downhill out of gear means you don’t have complete control of your car. This can be particularly problematic if you need to quickly speed up in order to avoid an accident. Coasting also risks your brakes overheating and ultimately it doesn’t save fuel anyway. Modern electronics mean that a single electronic unit controls the fuel and ignition systems and so coasting will not save on fuel consumption.