When is the price of fuel going to stabilize? The price is never the same two day’s running at the petrol stations. Even the same brand of petrol varies from town to town.
The only plus side of the crisis is probably that we are all now much more aware of ways to try and save fuel.
Regular Servicing of Your Car
You should check oil, water and tyre pressure on a regular basis – once a week if you use your car regularly. It may be better to buy your own pressure gauge to test the pressure rather than use one at a garage, as these are often faulty, but if you do use one at a garage, try to use the same one each time, rather than ones from different garages. 50% of tyres are under-inflated and if you do not put the right pressure it, not only can it wear the tyres out quicker, but you will also use more fuel.
Use of Your Car
Car-sharing is a good way to save fuel. This can be for whatever reason – going shopping, taking the children to school, or just going to the bar.
Avoid short journeys whenever possible as you use most fuel when the car is cold and using the gears will also increase fuel consumption.
Watch the rev-counter as this will give you a good idea if you are in the correct gear.
Using fifth gear, even at low speeds, will save you fuel.
If you have ‘cruise control’, set it at the speed limit when driving on the motorway and your speed will be maintained, thus saving fuel. It is surprising how often your foot moves on the accelerator and this will cause you to use excess fuel. The ‘cruise control’ will also keep you a safe distance from the car in front.
Try walking or biking to the local shops, or round to friends’ houses instead of getting in the car.
Turn off the engine at traffic lights or road works. You will be surprised how much fuel you can save doing this. There is even a new car on the market that does just this – the Citroën C2. They claim that you can save 10% of fuel when driving round town by turning off the engine for a few minutes each time.
Here in Spain, we use air-conditioning in our cars, far more than we would in the UK. This means an increase of at least 5% in your fuel consumption. Try turning the air-conditioning off at intervals, but do not open the windows. If the temperature rises again, put the AC back on.
Driving with your arm out of the car will also increase your fuel consumption, even though it might seem more economical than using the air conditioning.