How can you save on fuel while driving through France?

Motorists heading to the Continent during the bank holiday weekend and half-term have been urged to fill up in the UK amid a chronic fuel shortage in France.

More than half of the nation's 10,250 fuel stations have been hit by shortages caused by varied strike action, with northern France particularly badly affected.

How far you can get on a full tank will obviously depend on your individual vehicle's fuel capacity and consumption levels.

But there are some clear tips to saving fuel all drivers can apply both before and during the journey to France.

Map out the real-time fuel shortages

Your changes of relying on any petrol pit-stops will depend on the area of France you are driving to or through.

French fuel shortages can be tracked with real-time percentages. Credit:

Real-time fuel shortages can be tracked with this French site:

The heat-map style markings give a region-by-region overview and a percentage on how low fuel has descended in the area.

Be the tortoise not the hare

Want to exact more miles out of your tank? The RAC advises drivers to go slow to go further while taking into consideration the type of road, speed limit and its driving conditions.

Driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph and 15% more fuel than driving at 50mph

The optimum speed? That's 55/56mph but motorists are urged to respond to the speed of traffic on the road and only slow down when it's practical.

Don't rely on jerry cans

Having begun with a full tank of petrol or diesel before you cross the Channel, the RAC actually doesn't advise using fuel or jerry cans to extend long journeys.

Drivers are limited to five litres of petrol or diesel in approved containers per vehicle on ferries heading to France. Credit: Good Morning Britain

Drivers travelling to France by ferry are limited to five litres of petrol or diesel in approved containers so the impact for long journeys is marginal.

Instead motorists are urged to plan their fuel stops in advance and accept delays and rationing.

Boot out unnecessary weight

Don't pack unnecessary heavy items from the vehicle that will weigh you down, especially if you're in a small car.

The RAC calculates that every 50kg strips 2% off your fuel allowance so ditch the golf clubs (unless you're on a golfing holiday) and remove your roof bars if you're not using them to make your vehicle more aerodynamic.

Lose the AC but play it cool

Depending on the weather, you can save on fuel by limiting your use of air conditioning, which saps the car's engine power.

But drivers are also urged to play it cool behind the wheel by adopting a non-aggressive driving style.

Stay alert to changing traffic conditions, don't accelerate too quickly and don't brake too hard and you'll go a lot further.

Sound silly? The RAC reckons it can increase fuel efficiency by a whopping 30%.

Maintain a healthy car and body

Vehicle maintenance will also help the car's efficiency while avoiding regular stops will help the engine stay warm and perform at its most efficient.

But don't compromise on safety.

Take time out on long drives and you'll ensure another vital vehicle component operates at its most efficient: the driver.