Big fuel savings for better drivers. We show you how to reap them

Fuel savings

Drivers who’re more aggressive at the wheel could use significantly more fuel

Drivers with a light foot can save themselves £562 a year according to a new report. By anticipating the road ahead better, drivers can save money at the pumps and almost halve the amount they have to fill up every year.

Insurer Direct Line compiled the findings using information from drivers with telematics ‘black boxes’ fitted to their cars. It analysed 319,000 journeys over a two-month period and concluded calm, less aggressive drivers can make big fuel savings of nearly £11 a week.

What did the report find out?

The survey assessed drivers on how they used their cars’ controls. It then ranked them with a score of one for bad, 10 for good. It found that drivers considered to be good averaged 52.5mpg and visited fuel stations 11.9 times per year. They spend £836.75 on fuel over 12 months. Drivers who ranked as bad only managed 31.4mpg and had to fill up 19.9 times a year. Their annual fuel cost came to £1398.53, which was £561.78 more than the good drivers. Good drivers travel on average 692 miles between fill ups; bad drivers a mere 413.5 miles.

How did it come up with the results?

The telematics equipment monitors how hard drivers accelerate, their braking habits and how fast they go round corners. As the data was anonymously interrogated, it didn’t consider size or thirstiness of the cars in question. But researchers believe this will balance out over the sample size. It assumed drivers cover 8200 miles per year and fuel was 117.5p per litre.

How can you drive to make big fuel savings?

The Institute of Advanced Motorists says concentration is vital. Drivers should focus on the task at hand and not allow themselves to become distracted by mobile phones or in-car entertainment. It says this helps drivers to observe the road ahead for potential hazards, anticipate them better and act accordingly. The result is drivers can be smoother with the brakes and accelerator which results in them using less fuel.

Other ways to improve your miles per gallon

The IAM has other handy tips and tricks to help drivers make big fuel savings.

When you start: Try to pull away without using excessive revs. The higher the engine revs, the more fuel it’s using.

Driving: Every time you push the accelerator you’re effectively opening a valve that allows more fuel to flow out. Be as gentle as you can with the accelerator without holding up fellow drivers. When you can, take your foot off the throttle and allow momentum to carry you. Never put the car in neutral and allow it to coast. You must maintain control at all times.

When you stop: Low speed manoeuvres use the most fuel and engines are at their thirstiest when they’re cold. When you arrive somewhere, park in a position that makes it easy to leave so you don’t have to shunt back and forth to get out when the engine’s cold.

Skip gears: Just because gears are numbered first, second, third and so on doesn’t mean you have to use them in order. Try shifting from second to fourth when you accelerate or from fifth to second when you slow down. To make fuel savings use the highest gear possible, without making the engine struggle.

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