Video: How far can Matt Allwright drive on one tank?
Want to get maximum miles from your motor? Here are a few tips…
Accelerate as smoothly as possible. The lighter you are on the throttle, the less fuel you’ll use.
Skip gears where possible. If you can change straight from 3rd gear to 5th then do. Likewise, when stopping, stay in the gear you’re in rather than changing down through each one.
Make use of gravity. When driving downhill, you may need little (to no) throttle.
Avoid unnecessary changes in speed. Once you reach your required speed, try and stay there. Harsh braking and accelerating is a waste of fuel.
Anticipate the road ahead. Staying in as high a gear as possible will require concentration, so knowing what’s going on up ahead will help you minimise wasteful changes in speed. Remember… Early vision = early decision.
Turn off when stopped at railway crossings, or stuck in a queue. When idling your MPG is effectively 0! You’re just wasting fuel.
Prepare your vehicle
Lose unnecessary weight. Don’t carry heavy items around in the boot if they don’t need to be there. Every 50KG of extra weight you carry increases your fuel requirements by around 2%.
Streamline your car. A car that cuts through the air like a knife is going to waste less fuel. Removing unused roof racks and keeping your windows closed will make a big difference.
Tyre pressures need to be checked and maintained to the required levels. Low pressure means more drag and less fuel economy.
Air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by 10%. If you have to have it on, set the mode to recirculating. That way the system is chilling the air from inside that is already cool.
Shop around for fuel. Many supermarkets offer fuel vouchers and discount as rewards for your in store spending, so look out for these.
Shortest or quickest routes aren’t always the most economical. You need to use the routes that allow you to drive smoothly, so getting stuck in town traffic isn’t going to help.
More tips and tricks
Winter: Driving for less
Driving is far less economical in the colder months, because snow, ice, and grit on the road means your car has to work harder. Also, the cold air reduces the pressure of the tires and thickens the oil in the engine. Not to mention the extra time spent running the engine in order to defrost your car. Overall your MPG may be reduced by over half!
Here are some tips for better winter economy...
- Use your garage or cover your windscreen so that your car isn’t iced up in the morning.
- If you don’t have a garage, park into the sun. Let Mother Nature de-ice your car!
- Remove snow from your roof and bonnet - it increases drag.
Track your MPG
Make a record of your mileage and fuel spending, and you can keep track of how well you’re doing here MPG calculator.