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How you can improve your fuel economy

How you can improve your fuel economy


When buying a car, one of the key concerns is how much the running costs are.

Improve your fuel economy

When buying a car, one of the key concerns is how much the running costs are. That’s why fuel economy, measured in miles per gallon (MPG), is a key concern for consumers.

When buying a car, you’ll find its MPG figure in the specifications. This is based on standardised tests and will be a fairly good guide for how economical it will be, with the higher the number the better.

However, the reality is that your fuel economy figure is largely affected by how you drive. Here, we take a look at some of the best ways to lower your fuel usage.

How to improve your fuel economy?

Accelerate more smoothly

Car Pedals

Probably the quickest way to see improvements in your fuel economy is to accelerate more smoothly. If you’re planting your foot hard on the throttle all the time, the engine is working harder to get you up to speed more quickly.

Therefore, easing off and taking it easy will see improvements.

Don’t brake hard and late

Regardless of how smoothly you accelerate, it’s increasing your speed that uses the most fuel. Therefore the less acceleration you have to do, the less fuel you’ll use.

Braking hard and late won’t directly use more fuel, but it likely means you’ll have to accelerate from a lower speed. Instead, try lifting off early and gradually reducing speed. The light might turn green, for example, before you stop, so you can accelerate again more gradually.

Don’t rev too high

Knowing when to change gear might seem like the basics of car driving, but adapting how and when you do it can save you fuel in a manual car.

You shouldn’t let the car rev too high, as this uses more fuel. However, changing too early could make the engine struggle and use more fuel as welll. So try to keep the car in a rev range where it’s not too high but also pulls smoothly.

Keep speed low

Driving fast uses more fuel. You might be surprised just how much fuel you’ll save by dropping from 70 to 65mph on the motorway. Obviously, you must not drive so slowly that you hold up traffic, but dropping your speed will save you trips to the pump.

Remove unnecessary weight

Weight is the enemy in the car because it means the engine has to work harder to get going. Performance cars are as light as possible so the engine power is more effective, but chucking unnecessary items out of the boot can improve economy as the engine doesn’t work so hard. 

Don’t use your air conditioning

On a hot day, crisp air conditioning can be a lifesaver. However, using it puts a strain on the engine, which in turn affects fuel economy. If you can go without, you’ll see noticeable improvements.

Lowering the windows can be a good alternative at lower speeds, but the drag that’s created at higher speeds can negate any improvements.

Service your car regularly

Your car is at its most efficient when everything is working smoothly. By sticking to your manufacturer-recommended service schedule, you’ll make sure there’s no wear and tear putting a strain on the engine. When it’s not working smoothly, it has to work harder, and this worsens the economy.

Keep your tyre pressures correct


Keeping your engine from working too hard is a common theme throughout this advice, and the final way to help economy comes from your tyres. It’s important to make sure they stay pumped up to the recommended pressure, because if they’re too low the surface area in contact with the road increases.

The engine has to work harder to overcome this, which uses more fuel. Just be careful to stick to the recommended amount, as going too high will reduce grip. You can usually find these figures inside the door opening, but if not, check the owner’s manual.

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