17 Clever Ways to Save £100s on Your Petrol Bill Each Year

October 29th, 2012 - Posted by in Blog, Saving Money

With petrol prices higher than ever (nearly 500% up since 1991), saving is even harder than before. But, did you realise you’re the reason you’re overpaying at the pump?

Yes, it’s all your fault!

No, not really, but your driving habits impact your car’s fuel consumption a great deal. The average 15,000 mile a year driver spends more than £2,600 a year on fuel!

Now, what if you could save more than £800 just by tweaking your habits?

You can. Just take a look:

1. Do a tyre check
Lower tyre pressure causes your car to work harder, using more fuel. To increase your efficiency by 2%, but it not only saves you money, it could save your life. Keeping your tyres at the proper inflation is safer as it helps your car keep traction on the road.

2. Coast when you can
Rather than zooming and stamping, zooming and stamping which rips into your fuel’s efficiency, take your foot off the pedal and coast between frequent stops. Let your car slow itself as you approach and you’ll increase your efficiency by 100% during those coasting bits, as coasting requires zero fuel.

3. Remember the magic number: 2,500
Don’t use your ear to measure when you should switch gears. Many people listen to the engine for gearing up, but, unless your ear is tuned to 2,500 rpms, then you’re likely not switching properly. Diesel engines’ number is lower at 2,000. So be aware of your car’s magic number and save.

4. Keep a steady pace
Speeding and slowing, only to have to crawl over speed bumps or stop at crossings lowers your car’s efficiency a great deal. Keep a steady pace, even if it’s slower than what you like, and you’ll increase your efficiency.

5. Watch your speed
Using speeds exceeding 70mph means your car is glugging on your gas. You don’t have to keep a snail’s pace, however. Maintaining speeds around 50mph keeps your engine running 15% more efficiently than driving at 70mph.

6. Look for cheap prices before filling up
Use sites like PetrolPrices.com before you leave home or use the FuelSmart app when you’re already out and about and need a fill up to help you locate the closest petrol stations with the best prices.

7. Use the window instead of the a/c around town
Driving at speeds, the air con doesn’t impact your efficiency, but tooling about town with it on decreases your money saving. So wind the windows down when you’re just driving around town to take up that almost 8% extra efficiency from your fuel.

8. Plan your journey
Know all the places you need to go and plan a smart route to hit them in order to save driving and fuel since you won’t be flitting back and forth across town.

9. Choose one day a week to do your running about
Make one day a week your errand day. Keeping all your errands on one day and using number 8 to plan them means you make your car more efficient so you save gas on the things you have to do.

10. Cycle when you can
Cycling when you can is not only good for your wallet, it’s good for your health and the environment. If you live close enough to work, cycling can lower your fuel bill by hundreds.

11. Carpool or Liftshare to work
Sharing the drive means sharing the expense. If you and a mate live and work close enough together, why not map out a strategy for sharing the commute each day to save yourselves the pounds on petrol?

12. Lighten your car’s load
Carrying too much in your car weighs it down. The extra weight adds lag to your efficiency. So unload everything you don’t need in your vehicle for a 2% increase on your fuel’s efficiency.

To add to your savings:

1. Use a cashback credit to fill up
Using cashback credit card like Argos through Topcashback.co.uk lets you earn back pounds on pounds spent, a win-win. BUT, always pay it off by the first of the month to prevent interest.

2. Check out loyalty programs
Stores like Morrisons offer promotions on fuel fillups with purchases. You can get up to £5 with each £40 you were already going to spend on food. Take advantage of them, but be aware of the prices before you do. Make sure you’re not going to pay more for the groceries just to pay less on the gas.

3. Look for vouchers
Tesco and Groupon offer vouchers for petrol these days. Pay attention and don’t let them expire before you use them!

Things to consider when buying your next car:

1. Engine size
Don’t assume the smaller engine is the more efficient one. If you’re opting for a big car, then it will need a bigger engine to be more fuel efficient.

2. Fuel source
Diesel, petrol, or hybrid? Hybrids save on fuel, but you’ll need to weigh the price tag first to know if your savings will be worth it. And if you can, avoid a diesel engine as the cost is more expensive for the fuel.

Petrol is a necessary expense, but it doesn’t have to be as expensive as it is. When you drive smart and take advantage of promotions, you can save around £800 a year on your fuel!

What ways do you save?

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