efficient driving

Efficient Driving Tips

Fuel consumption is largely based on the car you drive. However, regardless of which model you choose, there are steps you can take to save money and reduce fuel use, CO2 emissions and pollution. A lot of this is down to common sense and using simple preventative techniques and measures to ensure that fuel isn’t being used excessively.

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Cutting emissions

The first things to consider relate more to the vehicle itself, rather than driving style. To ensure that your vehicle stays in
good shape, regular maintenance and vehicle condition checks should be carried out as a matter of course.

Before Travelling

Before setting off on journeys of any distance, there are a number of things to take into consideration.

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On the road

Here are some simple tips that will make your driving experience easier, more relaxed, and more environmentally and budget friendly.

Idle or switch off?

It’s tempting to switch the engine off every time you stop, especially as many cars now have automatic stop-start systems that do just that. However, is switching off really the best thing for your wallet or the environment?

As a general guide, for a warm car in daylight conditions, in mild weather, turning the engine off for a wait of a minute or more will probably save fuel and cut carbon emissions. A cold engine, cold weather, or additional electrical loads will all extend the period you’d have to be stationary to benefit from switching off.

Diesel vehicles should never be turned off during diesel particulate filter DPF regeneration (a warning light will be shown) as a failed regeneration causes oil dilution and a blocked DPF.

Coasting is a no-no

Although it used to be quite a common recommendation to save fuel, rolling downhill or approaching a junction with the car out of gear is inadvisable because the driver doesn’t have full control of the vehicle.

Coasting means:

  • You lose the ability to suddenly accelerate out of tricky situations.
  • You lose engine braking which risks brake fade on downhill stretches, and overheated brakes require harder pedal pressures to stop the vehicle.

With changes in vehicle fuel systems, these days coasting won’t save you fuel either. In modern cars with electronic engine management, fuel and ignition systems are effectively controlled by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Take your foot off the accelerator and the ECU cuts the fuel supply to the injectors so there’s nothing to be gained by coasting. Modern diesel engines also have the ability to shut off the fuel when you take your foot off the accelerator. Smooth driving and gentle blending in and out of the throttle will save fuel.

Environmental car
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Download your PDF Guide

To assist drivers, we have produced a PDF download of our top tips for efficient driving.

Get Your Guide Now