I originally wrote a post about eco-driving on another blog when I got my car tax renewal through last year. I was reminded of it when I saw a post on Confused.com’s blog: Top five fuel-saving tips and Six reasons you’re using too much petrol. I have copied my previous blog below and added in a copy of an infographic from Confused.com.
When the DVLA sent me my car tax renewal last year, they also sent me a leaflet about it titled “Be a smarter driver and save money”. It lists a whole load of hints and tips to save money by saving fuel. They reckon that you could save between £250-£350 a year.
Unfortunately, I won’t be saving £250-£350 a year as I already follow 90% of what they say and the other 10% I have a bit of a problem with. In brief, this is what they suggest:
- Drive smoothly – avoid excessive acceleration and sharp braking (knew that)
- Don’t coast towards traffic jams or traffic lights – stay in gear when slowing down to stop. It does not save fuel and is dangerous to try to maneouver a car when not in gear.
- Try to change gear before you get to 2,000 revs (I thought that was just for diesels and petrol engines was 2,500 revs) – listen to the engine and match your gear to the traffic conditions. I usually change at 2,000 revs (I have a diesel) but when driving in built up areas I’ll stay in 3rd (30 mph areas) or 2nd (20 mph areas) as I have more control over the speed of the car even though the revs are slightly over 2,000.
- Drive off from cold – you no longer need to give the car time to warm up before you move so save fuel by driving straight off.
- Don’t idle – they say that you should turn off the engine if you are stationary for more than a couple of minutes. I don’t think I’ll be following that unless I am stuck in a traffic jam which will not clear due to a crash or other incident and know that we won’t be moving for a long time.
- Lighten the load – don’t carry unnecessary items in the boot and take off the roof rack/roof box when you aren’t using it.
- Plan ahead – listen to the radio so that you know if there are roadworks. If you are going on a journey which you don’t do very often, check your route for road works or traffic incidents before you leave. Also plan your route so that you know where you are going and ask for directions if you get lost!
- Take it easy – faster isn’t necessarily quicker. If you slow down and enjoy the drive you will arrive calmer and more relaxed than if you pressure yourself to go faster.
Brought to you by Confused.com – You could save a bundle on your car insurance