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Martin Lewis shares five common checks that can save you thousands in fuel

MONEY saving expert Martin Lewis has outlined the common checks drivers can do to save thousands of pounds of fuel.

The welcome advice comes at the pumps amid rising fuel prices, with the cost of a liter of petrol at nearly £1.67 and diesel at £1.79, according to the RAC.

Small changes to your car and the way you drive can result in huge savings

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Small changes to your car and the way you drive can result in huge savingsPhoto credit: Belinda Jiao
Martin Lewis has teamed up with the RAC to offer advice on how motorists can save money

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Martin Lewis has teamed up with the RAC to offer advice on how motorists can save moneyPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Martin Lewis teamed up with the RAC to detail the path enormous savings possible by making small changes to your car and the way you drive.

Step 1: Make your car more economical

It’s estimated that drivers can save up to 30 percent on their fuel bill simply by following these steps.

Keep your tires pumped up

Keeping your tires inflated to the correct pressure will save you fuel. Lower tire pressure increases a car’s drag, while higher pressure also uses more fuel.

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Declutter your car

By clearing the trunk of clutter and not lugging around unnecessary weight, you can save a little money. Extra weight only increases your fuel economy.

Take off your roof rack

Even an empty roof rack adds extra weight and increases wind resistance, reducing your car’s efficiency.

Turn off the air conditioning at lower speeds.

The general consensus is that at lower speeds it is more efficient to drive with the windows down and the air conditioning off, but at higher speeds it is better to use the air conditioning and the windows up due to the additional drag caused by windows down allow.

Do not fill up with fuel

A full fuel tank adds weight to your car and reduces efficiency. The advice is to fill up a little more often and fill up less – to 1/2 or 3/4 full.

Save cruise control for highways

On long, flat roads, cruise control helps you save fuel by maintaining a constant speed, reducing unnecessary acceleration. But if it’s used regularly on uneven roads, it increases fuel economy as it’s slower to respond to changes in grade, meaning it’ll take longer to accelerate than a driver when going uphill.

Step 2: Tips for driving more efficiently

The key here is to drive smoothly, which is easy on your wallet and the environment.

Accelerate gradually

The harder you step on the accelerator, the more fuel flows. Usually stay below 3,000 rpm.

Shift up a gear earlier

Always drive in the highest gear possible without overloading the engine.

Think of the street position

This helps you plan ahead and take it in increments, resulting in more efficient driving.

The brake is a money burner

If possible, slow the car down naturally instead of jumping on the brakes. It’s best to use the car’s momentum, and good road holding helps with that. The more you brake, the more you have to accelerate later and use more fuel.

Listen to the sound of your engine

When you hear sharp acceleration and squealing brakes, you know you’re doing something wrong.

Keep moving if you can

The first meter you drive is always the most expensive, as it takes a lot of energy to get a car going. If you can safely and slowly approach a traffic light that changes from red to green without stopping, it is more efficient than stopping and restarting.

However, caution is advised when attempting to save on fuel – idling feels cheaper, but it’s dangerous.

Step 3: Find the cheapest petrol and diesel prices in your area

Price comparisons can be made using a useful online tool PetrolPrices.com. Once registered you can enter your zip code, how far you want to travel for fuel and what type of fuel you want.

It lists the cheapest petrol stations in your area and covers around 8,500 petrol stations across the UK.

There is also an app that you can download.

Use loyalty programs

Many petrol stations, including supermarkets, offer some form of loyalty program. It’s worth signing up for the gas stations you use the most to get a little more in return.

However, do not just choose one gas station for the loyalty program.

Other top-up tips include:

  • Always fill up at least 50 miles before your tank is empty – this gives you time to look around for the cheapest option
  • Only use “better fuel” if your car can handle it – “high performance” fuels make little difference to the performance of less powerful cars
  • Filling up at night doesn’t save much money – it’s a minor urban myth as the difference is tiny – pennies at best.
  • Don’t try to add more after the clink – don’t continue after the nozzle has ‘popped’. If you do this, you are overcrowding.

Step 4: Pay with a cashback credit card

Cashback credit cards pay you back every time you spend them. But you must follow the golden rule of setting up a direct debit to pay off the card in full each month so that you never pay interest that would exceed any profit.

The interest cost of all cashback cards dwarfs the cashback you earn.

Step 5: Share the ride to reduce your gas costs

One obvious way to reduce your gas bills is to drive less. So if you can share the commute to work with a co-worker, it can result in big savings.

There are also sites like Liftshare and BlaBlaCar that can connect people making the same trip.

How much can you save?

Martin Lewis estimates that for someone who drives 15,000 miles a year and averages 35 miles per gallon, just buying petrol at the average UK price would cost £2,963 a year as of March 2022.

A 25 per cent reduction could save £741 a year.

Motorists are encouraged to look for the cheapest offers

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Motorists are encouraged to look for the cheapest offersCredit: Alamy
Using a high performance fuel will do little for underperforming vehicles

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Using a high performance fuel will do little for underperforming vehiclesCredit: Alamy

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https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8578822/martin-lewis-tips-saving-money-fuel-driving/ Martin Lewis shares five common checks that can save you thousands in fuel

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