How to save fuel while driving as petrol and diesel prices soar

Wayne Short from the AA says reducing your speed is the main way you can reduce your fuel consumption. Credit: Wales this Week

As the cost of living rises and fuel prices reach record levels, saving money is a priority for many households.

More than four out of five motorists in the UK said they would struggle without access to a car according to a RAC poll.

But our fuel consumption also negatively affects the environment.

So here are some ways you can decrease the amount of fuel you use, lower your costs and help save the planet by reducing your carbon emissions.

  • Before you set off...

Empty your boot. Extra weight means extra fuel so if you don’t need it, leave it at home.

Cut drag. If you have a roof rack, remove it if you're not using it. Keeping it on creates drag, slowing the vehicle down.

  • Maintenance

It's important to keep your tire pressure at the correct level. If they're under-inflated it impacted your fuel consumption.

Get your car serviced and checked regularly for the best efficiency and always use the right specification of engine oil.

Ensuring your tire pressure is checked is key. Credit: Wales this Week
  • Don’t hang around

Idling wastes fuel and your engine warms up more quickly when you're moving so don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go.

De-ice in the winter rather than leave your car idling to warm up.

Try to plan your journey and check traffic news before you go.

Combine short trips when you can. Once the engine is warm it will operate at its most efficient whereas several cold starts will increase fuel consumption even though the total mileage could be the same.

Walk or cycle - if you're only going around the corner for some essentials, can you ditch the car?

  • Driving

While you travel be mindful of what's ahead of you. Are there vehicles up ahead? Can you reduce and ease off the throttle?

Decelerate smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car in gear. You will save on fuel consumption and you won't wear brake pads so often.

One of the best ways to achieve high mpg, which equates to low fuel consumption, is driving in the highest possible gear for your vehicle while keeping within the speed limit.

The best advice in urban areas is to change up through the gears as quickly as you can with the lowest revs possible, usually at around 2000rpm.

Remove everything from your boot unless you need it to save on fuel. Credit: Wales this Week.
  • Use your air-con wisely

At low speeds, air-con increases fuel consumption. But at higher speeds, the effect is less noticeable.

Try opening the windows around town and save the air-con for high-speed driving. Don't leave it on all the time but running it at least once a week helps keep the system in good condition.

  • Reduce your speed

Going faster uses more fuel so you should stick to the limit.

Wayne Short from the AA, who has been helping drivers for nearly 30 years, says: "Always keep an eye on your speed limit.

"If you're at 70mph and you reduce to 60mph you save up to 9% in fuel consumption and at 50 mph you save 15% in fuel consumption.

"So if you fill your average size tank up you can save between approx £4.50 and £6 per tank full just by reducing your speed a little bit.

"Little habit changes can help the pocket and reduce our carbon footprint."

You can discover more money-saving tips and cheaper greener ways to travel on Wales This Week: Getting from A to B at 8pm 3rd May on ITV Cymru Wales.