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How To Improve Vehicle Fuel Economy

With petrol station forecourts making all the headlines, in this article, we look at how you can reduce the amount of fuel used to help your pocket, and fight climate change at the same time.

UK Fuel Prices

Following days of queues at petrol stations the UK government has been considering using the Army and is now looking to suspend competition law to allow oil firms to target fuel deliveries at petrol stations following recent panic buying.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said, “The only reason we don’t have petrol on forecourts is people are buying petrol when they don’t need it,” he said, predicting that things would “calm down” once anxious people had filled their vehicles up.

Making up a huge part of the motor trade industry, the UK has a more than 8,000 fuel filling stations. Petrol Retailers Association has warned that as many as two-thirds of its membership (5,500 independent outlets) are out of fuel as of 27th September 2021, with the rest of them “partly dry and running out soon”.

Why is fuel so expensive?

Crude oil is purchased by on the global market so exchange rates have an impact on the prices which is also affected by supply and demand.

Unfortunately for us, the UK is among the most expensive countries in the world with tax at 57.95p per litre, then VAT is also added at 20%, which means about 75p on every £1 litre of fuel is made up of tax, this is a big concern for most drivers, which is why it’s in every motorist’s best interest to make every litre of fuel count.

How can you use less fuel?

Start by removing excess vehicle weight, like the roof rack when not in use and clean any unnecessary baggage from the boot, excess weight uses more fuel to power the vehicle.

Something many drivers have not thought about recently is only to fill a tank with the amount of fuel needed, not having a full tank means the fuel you do have will go slightly further, 109 litres of fuel is a significant amount of extra weight to travel around with.

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Open windows and air conditioning can also reduce vehicle economy. Depending on the speed you’re travelling at, having the windows down causes vehicle drag and air-con uses fuel too. Inflate tyres to the correct pressure, the surface area that’s in contact with the road increases when a tyre is under-inflated, so the more surface area in contact with the road, the more drag on the vehicle wheels.

The way we drive impacts on the amount of fuel we use, smooth acceleration and using the highest gears where possible will burn less fuel. Leaving your engine idle for too long is illegal, if your vehicle has a stop-start device consider using it, a running engine at idle consumes a lot of fuel as, will keeping your foot on the clutch when you come to a stop.

Whether you’re in the motor trade industry or not, just like you research before buying a private or motor trade insurance policy, shop around before filling up, it will help save a few pounds off your bill which accumulates over the year!