Cars are more efficient when they’re firing on all cylinders, so to speak. Modern cars require far less maintenance than they used to but ignoring the service intervals laid down by the manufacturer is a recipe for all kinds of trouble, including reduced fuel economy.
When that little spanner illuminates on the dash, it’s time to book it in at the garage. Not wait another 3,000 miles or so.
Specialist eco-friendly tyres might cost a little more than the bargain basement options but they’re designed to save you money in the long run.
It always pays to plan your journey in advance; you should get there quicker and use less fuel en route. The most direct route is usually best but adapt it to avoid congestion and to use faster roads. Motorway travel is always more fuel efficient than stop-start urban trips.
Think about making journeys at times of day when the roads are quieter. A car’s engine uses more fuel while it’s warming up so batching your travel will help the pocket.
Don't start the engine until you're ready to go as idling wastes fuel and the engine warms up more quickly when you're moving; in the winter, scrape ice rather than leave the car idling to warm up
plan unfamiliar journeys to reduce the risk of getting lost and check the traffic news before you leave
cold starts use more fuel so it pays to combine errands such as buying the paper, dropping off the recycling, or collecting the kids
if it's a short journey (a couple of miles or so) could you walk or cycle rather than taking the car?
The perfect way to travel is at a constant speed (ideally around 50mph), and in the highest gear (five or six). So if you're a patient driver, you'll have lower fuel bills – it's as simple as that.
his one always surprises people. It's not just to do with what gear you're in. You may be in a high gear and travelling at a sensible speed, but if you're pushing the accelerator down a long way to avoid changing into a lower gear (into third from fourth, for example), then you're actually using more fuel not less.
Think about what you’ll use it for, where you’ll drive it and how many miles you’ll do. Then choose a car that does the job but doesn’t have size, performance or features that you’ll hardly ever use.
Remember that even a single mile-per-gallon extra on that official combined economy figure can mean big savings when multiplied out over the years that you could be running the car.
One car is almost always more efficient than two so taking someone along for the ride is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. It’ll save you money too, provided they return the favour.