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Nine steps to reducing your fuel costs

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With each New Year comes new resolutions, and one of the most popular is to save money and reduce spending. Most people focus on their personal lives, but we often forget that fuel is one of the most costly aspects of driving.

This month we explore some of the ways that fleet managers and individuals can reduce their fuel costs over the coming months, as well as how adopting new driving habits can be beneficial in the long-run.

Monitor vehicle condition

One of the best ways to reduce your fuel costs is to make sure the vehicle is maintained throughout its life. From air filters to fuel injectors, spark plugs to oil filters, everything needs to be working in optimum condition to help improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

Improve journey planning

Whether you’re driving for business or personal use, planning a journey ahead of time is an easy way to reduce the overall cost of your trip. Whilst this approach may not be feasible for all drivers, those who have the option should take it. Routes with fewer traffic lights and long stretches of road where cruise control can be used are preferable to narrower roads with multiple stopping points.

Rethink driving times

When planning a journey, you also need to consider when you’re actually going to be driving. Travelling during off-peak times (evenings and very early mornings) means you’re going to encounter less traffic, reducing the time you spend idling in traffic or braking due to other road users.

Remove excess weight

Before longer journeys, it’s important to remove excess weight if you want to improve fuel efficiency and reduce your running costs. Extra tools, equipment, bags and larger parts all add to the weight, which means that vehicle is going to be working harder to maintain a constant speed.

Cut out the idling

Whether you’re stuck in traffic or delivering a parcel, many vehicles are left idling, which is a drain on fuel and increases the pollution emitted from the vehicle.

Utilise cruise control

If a vehicle has been equipped with cruise control, then it would be best to use it. For example, when motorways are quiet you can easily set the speed to just under the speed limit, without having to worry about braking or increasing speeds to overtake other road users. The same applies to speed limiters, which can help with maintaining a constant speed if it’s not safe to use cruise control.

Monitor the traffic ahead

It may seem obvious, but if you’re monitoring three cars ahead, you’re less likely to have to brake suddenly.Leaving a safe distance between your own vehicle and the one in front means you have time to slow down, without having to suddenly accelerate as the traffic moves on again.

Choose the right vehicle for your needs

If you’re considering renting a vehicle, make sure you get one that suits your requirements and the location you’ll be driving too. For example, if you take a vehicle with a larger engine and you’re going to be driving in cities or areas with lots of traffic, you’ll spend a lot of time idling. This can increase your fuel consumption, especially if you’re stopping and starting at every corner. Likewise, a vehicle with a smaller engine may not be as efficient for longer motorway journeys. It’s all about the planning.

Invest in driver training

Everyone picks up bad driving habits, regardless of how long they’ve been on the road. Driving training is one way for individuals and businesses to increase their fuel efficiency and reduce total fuel costs. You’ll develop “best practice” driving skills and refocus your mind on driving more efficiently.

Don’t forget tyre pressure

One of the easiest, and better-known, ways of reducing your fuel costs is to inflate your tyres to the correct pressure. These can be found in the vehicle manual or inside the driver door. Tyres that are underinflated can lead to greater fuel consumption, and potential damage that could put you and other road users in danger.

In summary, careful planning and readjusting the way that you drive can reduce your fuel costs and improve the overall condition of your vehicle for years to come. For those still learning to drive, it would be worth adopting these methods in the early days on the road, but if you’ve been driving for a while, then there’s no reason you can’t change now.

Remember, if you are considering a vehicle for either short or long-term rental, then we are here to help. Our experienced team of consultants are able to source and recommend vehicles based on your exact needs and budget.

Simply get in touch with us today on 03338 803042, or use our contact form here. Alternatively, you can see the latest deals, news and insights on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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