M6 motorwayI learnt my lesson about not wasting fuel many years ago. I was driving through Yosemite National Park in California and had my air-conditioning turned right up. I didn’t realise it made the car use more fuel, and nearly ran out of petrol. I almost ended up stranded at the top of a mountain in a thunderstorm!

Lights, windscreen wipers, audio systems, air-conditioning and heating all increase your fuel consumption – and CO2 emissions. Most are essential in certain conditions, but there are other things you can do to make your driving more economical. The Unipart website has some great advice for economical driving. Here’s a selection of top tips based on their findings:

1. Accelerate slowly
It’s more economical to increase speed gradually, even though it takes longer to reach the speed you want.

2. Keep your speed down
For the average car, fuel consumption is twice as heavy at a steady 70mph than at 30mph. The best economic performance is usually around 40-60mph and 2,000 to 3,000rpm on your rev counter.

3. Learn to time your gear changes
The right moment to change up a gear is when the speed you’ve reached can be maintained in the next gear without pressing down on the accelerator. The best time to change down is when you can do so without causing a noisy, racing surge in the engine speed. (Automatics can be nearly as economical as manual cars, as long as you avoid using the ‘kick down’ too much.)

4. Anticipate when you’ll need to slow down
Gradual braking and minimum use of gears saves fuel. So look ahead to see when you’ll need to corner or come to a stop. Aim to be able to simply take your foot off the accelerator, rather than have to jam it on the brakes.

5. Choose a more economical time and route
Stop-start rush-hour driving is twice as expensive as main roads with free-flowing traffic, while high-speed motorway driving can increase costs by more than a third. Plan your route carefully and avoid congested times if possible – it’ll save you stress as well as petrol!

The North Lanarkshire Council website also provides a useful list to help you reduce the impact of your driving on the environment, and your wallet. If you have any tips of your own please post them in a comment here.

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11 Responses to “Save money on fuel by driving well”

  1. Joe spencer Says:

    Certainly driving at around 30-35 mph is best and with an auto keeping the revs at a steady level slow move off slow every thing. you could save around 1000$ per year

  2. Canny Squirrel Says:

    I was in Aberdeen in Scotland last week and petrol was £1.259.
    It just seems to be getting more and more expensive.
    I really think it’s making people think twice about buying high powered cars. I have a poll on my website about fuel prices – if you get a minute stop by and vote.


    Canny Squirrel

  3. hennry Says:

    There are strong opinions about how much gas air conditioning uses up, versus how much is wasted via drag with the windows kept open. In multiple studies it has shown to have no or minimal effect on fuel efficiency.


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  4. Rob Says:

    5 Tips On Making Your Car More Fuel Efficient

    With gas prices sky high most individuals who drive are interested in ways they can make their car more fuel efficient and save as much money as possible. While there are no fuel saving tips that will keep your car full of gas without filling up, there are some tips that really can help you save money on fuel over the long run. All of these tips focus on making your car more fuel efficient.

    Fuel Efficiency Tip #1 Drive When You Crank Up This might seem obvious, but as soon as you crank up your car you should drive off. However, many people crank up and leave the car idling for a while. Instead of this, when you crank up drive off and only keep your car running when it is absolutely necessary.

    Fuel Efficiency Tip #2 Don’t Ride the Break Many drivers hit the break more often than is necessary. Additionally there are quite a few drivers that slow down for a braking car when they could easily switch lanes. Not riding the break can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 30%, so this is a great tip you should follow.

    For more tips visit:


  5. cashback Says:

    Great article thanks for the insight.

  6. Car Driving Says:

    Thanks, and I look forward to reading your blog.

  7. Defensive Driving Says:

    Driving well definitely saves fuel, whether it is gas or something else. Given tips are really useful for effective driving and fuel saving. Thanks for sharing.


  8. Robin Smith Says:

    There are strong opinions about how much gas air conditioning uses up, versus how much is wasted via drag with the windows kept open. In multiple studies it has shown to have no or minimal effect on fuel efficiency.

  9. Motoring Guides Says:

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work

  10. iconic and vintage lady Says:

    I agree – being a good driver can help save you a lot and not only fuel.

  11. Driving Merton Says:

    Nice Post! A good driver always tries to be safe and drive in such manner to avoid accidents which will harm his car as well himself.

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