Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert, said:
“Record-high prices at the pumps will be worrying for many households and put further pressure on those already struggling with the rising cost of living – but there are ways for motorists to minimise their fuel bills.
“The best prices are often found at supermarket forecourts and most cars get little benefit from expensive premium unleaded. Driving smoothly without breaking sharply, changing gears early to avoid revving the engine, sticking to a lower speed and emptying your boot will also help to keep your fuel consumption low.”
1. Fill up at the supermarket: A litre of petrol at supermarkets typically costs a few pence less than – and is of the same quality as – fuel at other forecourts.
2. Stick to the limit: Driving on the motorway at 80mph uses around 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph. Travelling at 70mph instead of 60mph in an open speed limit zone will use 9% more fuel, and an additional 5% more than driving at 50mph.
3. Drive smoothly: As a general guide, keep the revs between 1,500 and 2,500rpm (petrol engine) and 1,200 and 2,000rpm (diesel engine).
4. Turn equipment off: In modern cars, air con can be a fuel-sapping item of equipment. Only use it when you really have to, which isn’t too often in this country. The same goes for the heated rear screen, demisters and headlights – if you don’t need them, switch them off.
5. Check your tyre pressure: Make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure as stated in the car’s handbook (or often on a sticker on the driver’s door pillar). Underinflated tyres develop more rolling resistance, so you’ll have to work your engine slightly harder when there isn’t enough air in them, and are more likely to wear prematurely or unevenly.
Notes to editors: